rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Women's World Cup: US top 'group of death' after Wambach's goal record

Women's World Cup: US top 'group of death' after Wambach's goal record

June 17, 2015 10:50 IST

Sydney Leroux of the United States (right) is challenged by Sarah Nnodim of Nigeria during their Group D match of the FIFA Women's World Cup in at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday

Sydney Leroux of the United States (right) is challenged by Sarah Nnodim of Nigeria during their Group D match of the FIFA Women's World Cup in at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday. Photograph: Rich Lam/Getty Images

Having escaped the 'group of death', it is now do-or-die for the United States and Australia after advancing to the knockout round of the Women's World Cup on Tuesday.

In a pool featuring three sides ranked in the top 10 and the top African nation Nigeria, there may be no tougher route to the July 5 title game than from Group D, but the US (2) and Australia (10) navigated the first stretch hitting only a few bumps along the way.

The US (2-1-0) clinched top spot with a testy 1-0 win over Nigeria that included a red card and finished with the Super Falcons coach Edwin Okon refusing to shake his opposite number American Jill Ellis's hand.

The sour finish did not take away from sweet victory for the Americans, whose defence has been air-tight in not conceding a goal in 243 minutes, even if their attack has sputtered.

United States' Abby Wambach (right) celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring to top US goal record list

United States' Abby Wambach (right) celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring to top US goal record list. Photograph: Rich Lam/Getty Images

Abby Wambach, the all-time leading scorer in women's soccer, added to her record total in the 45th minute.

The goal also boosted the US captain's World Cup tally to 14 and moved her into a tie for second on the all-time list with Germany's Birgit Prinz.

"I think it is important people understand scoring goals in not that easy," said Wambach, though she has made it look routine with 183 for her country.

"I'm not making excuses I need to finish chances that are handed to me.

"I just think if I score goals I am helping my team win games and now it is do-or-die, you win to move on."

Australia players Alanna Kennedy, Lydia Williams and Leena Khamis celebrate after their match against Sweden at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday

Australia players Alanna Kennedy, Lydia Williams and Leena Khamis celebrate after their match against Sweden at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday. Photograph: Todd Korol/Getty Images

Australia (1-1-1) grabbed the runnerup spot in the group after holding on for a 1-1 draw with Sweden, who closed out round-robin play without a victory (0-3-0) but could still advance as one of the best third-place finishers.

Having survived a tough group, the Americans and Australians believe they are better for the experience, emerging battle-tested and ready to take on any and all challengers.

"I read a lot of reports before the tournament and I don’t think one predicted us to progress," said Australian coach Alen Stajci.

"A tough game and not a pretty one to watch perhaps, but this gives us so much belief that we can take on the best and beat them in the knockout rounds.

"Any team that comes up against will have a fight on their hands."

Kerlly Real #19 of Ecuador controls the ball against Homare Sawa #10 and Megumi Kamionobe #12 of Japan

Ecuador's Kerlly Real #19 (centre) wins the ball in a battle against Japan's Homare Sawa and Megumi Kamionobe in their Group C match at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Canada, on Tuesday. Photograph: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There will be no shortage of confidence in the Japan (3-0-0) camp after the defending champions posted three straight wins to comfortably take top spot in Group C ahead of African debutants

Cameroon (2-0-1).

Yuki Ogimi's fifth minute goal accounted for all the scoring as Japan stopped determined Ecuador 1-0.

The South Americans, outscored 16-1 in their opening two contests, put up a brave effort against the champions but never really threatened, exiting the tournament without a win.

Cameroon scored two second half goals to edge Switzerland 2-1 and extend their stay in Canada, advancing to the knockout round in their first World Cup appearance.

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.