New Zealand outshot Switzerland and even moved goalkeeper Victoria Esson into an attack position several times, but failed to break a 0-0 tie Sunday in the Women’s World Cup and became the first host nation to be eliminated in group play in tournament history.
The Football Ferns are co-hosting the World Cup with Australia, which must win Monday against Canada to avoid its own early elimination.
Switzerland advanced to the round of 16. The Swiss also played to a scoreless draw against Norway, but won the group with the tie against New Zealand, coupled with the Norwegians’ simultaneous 6-0 rout of the Philippines.
New Zealand controlled the pace for long stretches of the match and had its chances to score, outshooting Switzerland 12-3. Jacqui Hand knocked a shot off the right post in the 24th minute.
All 25,947 seats at Forsyth Barr Stadiums were filled — the only one of Dunedin’s six tournament matches to sell out. The raucous crowd stomped and cheered all night, to no avail.
The tournament began July 20 with New Zealand upsetting Norway 1-0, but the Ferns failed to score from the 48th minute of that match through two more games. They lost their previous match 1-0 against the Philippines.
Esson moved into an offensive position several times in the last minutes of the match. She managed a header off a corner kick, but it was off-frame.
Switzerland becomes one of two teams from Group A to advance to the round of 16. It’s only the team’s second time in the knockout round — the first was in the Swiss’ only previous Women’s World Cup in 2015.
The New Zealanders’ failure to score put an end to their Women’s World Cup run.
Colombia 2, Germany 1
Manuela Vanegas scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Colombia upset Germany 2-1.
The defender headed in to settle a thrilling game and put her country on the brink of advancing to the knockout stage.
Alexandra Popp had scored an 89th-minute penalty and seemed to have earned Germany a 1-1 draw after 18-year-old Linda Caicedo had struck a stunning opener for Colombia.
But Vanegas came up with a late twist to huge celebrations among Colombia fans who dominated the Sydney Football Stadium crowd.
The Germans thought they’d secured a point after Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez brought down Lena Oberdorf in the box.
Popp, who scored twice in her country’s 6-0 rout of Morocco in its opening game of the tournament, fired straight down the middle to level the game.
Colombia had gone in front through Caicedo’s goal in the 52nd.
The Real Madrid teenager had suffered a health scare earlier in the week, but produced a moment of moment of magic to score her second of the tournament.
It was all the more special coming after she’d dropped to the ground holding her chest in training during the week.
Caicedo scored from distance in the 2-0 win against South Korea on Tuesday. But while that goal involved an error from goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul, on this occasion it was all about individual brilliance.
Collecting the ball from a corner just inside the area, she worked her way into space by beating two German defenders before lashing a shot into the top corner.
Morocco 1, just South Korea 0
Morocco made history in multiple ways during its 1-0 victory over South Korea.
Defender Nouhaila Benzina became the first player to wear a Hijab in a World Cup game at the senior level, and her teammate Ibtissam Jraidi scored the Atlas Lionesses’ first World Cup goal. The Moroccans scored in the 6th minute and were able to make it stand up for the remainder of the match.
After a lopsided 6-0 loss against Germany, the victory keeps No. 72-ranked Morocco in contention to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Morocco scored its first ever World Cup goal in the sixth minute when Ibtissam Jraidi met a cross from Hanane Ait El Haj with a glancing header toward the far post.
South Korea had the majority of the possession but was unable to translate the advantage into many scoring opportunities. Its best chance at equalizing came in the 87th minute when 16-year-old New Jersey resident Casey Phair pushed a shot just wide of the post. Phair, the youngest player to appear at a World Cup, went on as a late substitute.
After dropping its opening match 6-0 to Germany, Morocco’s victory temporarily moves it level with Germany and Colombia on three points ahead of the matchup later Sunday between those teams in Sydney. Morocco becomes the first Arab Nation ever to win a game at a Women’s World Cup and remains in contention to advance to the round of 16.
South Korea is all but eliminated from the tournament after its second loss of the tournament.
Morocco will take on Colombia on the final day of the group stage Thursday in Perth in a match that may decide which of the two teams advances to the round of 16. South Korea will play Germany in Brisbane. The two matches will kick off simultaneously.
Norway 6, Philippines 0
Sophie Roman Haug’s hat trick kick-started Norway’s dormant offence and sparked a 6-0 blowout win over the Philippines that moved the Norwegians into to the knockout stage.
The Philippines’ debut run in the tournament came to an end as Norway scored early and often, netting three goals in the first 31 minutes.
Norway’s spot in the round of 16 was secured when Switzerland and New Zealand simultaneously played to a 0-0 draw and the Norwegians. Norway and New Zealand were tied in Group A but Norway advanced on goal differential. New Zealand became the first host country to be eliminated in the group stage in tournament history.
Before the game, Norway had not scored in three consecutive Women’s World Cup matches dating to the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament.
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But Roman Haug one-timed a ball into the net in the sixth minute, and scored again 11 minutes later. Caroline Graham Hansen added a long-distance shot in the 31st minute.
Roman Haug completed the hat trick in injury time.
The win advances Norway to the knockout stage after the Norwegians found themselves in last place in Group A heading into the Philippines match.
The Norwegians had yet to score in 2023 before their six-goal eruption.
Norway will play either Japan or Spain in the round of 16 next Saturday, depending on the results of a game between those Group C teams on Monday.
The inaugural tournament run ends for the Philippines, who needed at least a draw to have a chance of moving on.