Women’s World Cup Daily: U.S. debuts, Nigeria vs. Canada, more

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The 2023 Ladies’s World Cup is in full swing, and these every day recordsdata offers you the newest reporting from across the 2023 World Cup in addition to betting strains, what-to-watch-for data and greatest reads. Test in with ESPN all through the event as we carry you the newest from Australia and New Zealand.

THE LEAD: Defending champions U.S. take the sphere

It is lastly right here! After a lot anticipation, coach Vlatko Andonovski’s facet will face Vietnam on Friday night time (U.S. time) and get its World Cup underway. It will be a vastly completely different workforce to earlier tournaments — totally 14 of this squad are making their first appearances on the World Cup — however the expertise, depth and dedication is there to placed on a present.

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Each elite workforce is aware of a robust begin is significant at this degree, and on the 2019 version, the U.S. opened proceedings in France with a 13-0 thrashing of Thailand, with Alex Morgan scoring 5 occasions. What is going to Friday night time carry? Something lower than a cushty victory may need followers feeling nervous.


  • USWNT stars Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle will open the 2023 World Cup on restricted minutes as Andonovski appears to make sure everybody stays match and accessible for choice.

  • Canada ahead Christine Sinclair missed an opportunity to develop into the primary males’s or girls’s participant ever to attain in six World Cups when her second-half penalty towards Nigeria was saved.

  • England have struggled with accidents of late, however acquired an enormous increase when defender and new captain Millie Shiny was handed match to start out the Lionesses’ opener vs. Haiti.

  • A troublesome blow for Zambia as key midfielder Grace Chanda was hospitalised and dominated out of the World Cup.


“We’re making ready to see the perfect Vietnam workforce that has ever been on the sphere, and if that’s the workforce that we noticed towards Germany, that is what we’re making ready for.”

— U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski is taking nothing as a right towards Vietnam as Jeff Carlisle previews the second each USWNT fan has been ready for: the primary U.S. sport of this 2023 World Cup.




Canada devastated after legend Christine Sinclair’s penalty miss

Response from either side as Canada have been denied a win on the Ladies’s World Cup by a penalty save from Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnadozie.

Nigeria 0-0 Canada: Chiamaka Nnadozie flips the script

MELBOURNE/NAARM, Australia — You might sense the narrative constructing nearly as quickly as Francisca Ordega introduced Christine Sinclair to the turf on the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday afternoon.

After being repelled by the Nigerian defence throughout the primary 45 minutes of their opening World Cup match, a VAR assessment meant Canada’s dwelling legend had the possibility to bypass all that scoring-from-open-play nonsense simply minutes into the second stanza, and will have supplied her resolute backline with a one-goal result in defend from the penalty spot.

Seize a penalty and defend — it wasn’t essentially the most engaging of approaches, however one which had already delivered Bev Priestman’s facet a gold medal in Tokyo two years prior.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, although, did not get the memo. Diving down low to her left, the 22-year-old caught out a robust hand to disclaim Sinclair’s preliminary effort and shortly sprung throughout to scramble away any potential follow-up, sending Sinclair as soon as once more to the turf, the place she remained ruefully on the grass for just a few further seconds, processing, because the younger keeper — who went on to be named participant of the sport — was mobbed by teammates above her.

“She’s among the best younger goalkeepers on this planet proper now,” Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum proclaimed postgame. — Joey Lynch

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica: Bonmati the maestro

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Aitana Bonmati pulled the strings as Spain opened their marketing campaign with a cushty 3-0 win towards Costa Rica at a chilly and moist Wellington Regional Stadium. The speak earlier than the sport was about whether or not Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas could be match to start out — she did not, although she got here on to reception from the gang with quarter-hour to play — however it was her Barcelona teammate who took dwelling the participant of the match award.

Bonmati scored Spain’s second, slicing on to her left foot and ending neatly, however it was her timing and approach that stole the present. She gave the impression to be taking part in a distinct sport to her opponents, driving ahead gracefully and delivering passes which have been each weighted and timed to perfection.

Together with her on this type and Putellas getting invaluable minutes off the bench, Spain should be thought of among the many favourites. However they’ll face more durable checks than Costa Rica, who stored the scoreline down due to their overworked goalkeeper Daniela Solera — she was so busy she ended up getting cramp. Solera made 9 saves, together with one from Jenni Hermoso’s first-half penalty. She could not hold out Bonmati’s effort, although, which was sandwiched between a Valeria Del Campo personal objective and an Esther Gonzalez strike. — Marsden



Marsden: Aitana Bonmati a pleasure to observe vs. Costa Rica

Sam Marsden praises Aitana Bonmati’s efficiency in Spain’s 3-0 win over Costa Rica on the Ladies’s World Cup.

Philippines 0-2 Switzerland: Scrappy win for the Swiss

It was practically a debut to recollect for the Philippines when playmaker Katrina Guillou stroked the ball into the again of the online 1 / 4 of an hour into the tie, just for it to be referred to as again for an offside name. In the long run, it ended up being the brightest second for the debutantes, who dug deep however in the end succumbed to the way more skilled Swiss workforce who, after taking the lead in first half stoppage time for the spot, wrapped the win up with a scrappy objective after Oliva McDaniel had made a double-save however failed to completely clear the hazard.

The win places the Swiss in a robust place heading into their second group-stage sport towards a still-off-colour Norway workforce, and the Philippines might want to rally earlier than their second sport towards New Zealand with the match having offered out earlier than the ultimate whistle in Auckland on Thursday night time. — Sophie Lawson

Nigeria assist stands out in Australia

MELBOURNE/NAARM, Australia — Lagos and Melbourne could be over 9,000 miles (nearly 15,000km) aside on the map, however coming off the sphere after recording a 0-0 draw with Canada to open their 2023 FIFA Ladies’s World Cup marketing campaign on Friday, Nigerian gamers could not assist however replicate that the ambiance on the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium had felt like a house sport.

Few who have been buffeted by the noise that swelled each time the Tremendous Falcons superior towards objective Friday afternoon, or who had heard the explosion that greeted Chiamaka Nnadozie’s Fiftieth-minute penalty save to disclaim Christine Sinclair and hold the sport locked at 0-0, would have a lot disagreed with that phase.

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“I believed that the fan assist for Nigeria was nice,” coach Randy Waldrum mentioned postgame. “They have been vocal; you can hear them even when the penalty kick got here. You might hear the chants for a save.

“I obtained an opportunity to satisfy a number of of them after the sport and nothing however constructive vibes from the gang.”

A reported 21,410 followers attended the primary sport with out a host nation of the 2023 World Cup, and whereas the competition was nominally staged in the course of enterprise and faculty hours, some did not seem to get that memo. In a short time, a large number of these neutrals shortly discovered themselves drawn to supporting the African facet.

“We’re very contagious,” one Nigerian fan advised ESPN. “So we had a variety of different individuals cheering for us, a variety of faculty youngsters, which was very enjoyable.” — Lynch



Who may begin for England’s World Cup debut vs. Haiti?

ESPN’s Tom Hamilton predicts England’s beginning XI forward of first sport towards Haiti.

Who will begin for England?

BRISBANE, Australia — In contrast to final summer time’s Euros, the place you can predict the England line up with all the boldness of rain affecting Wimbledon, it is more durable to work out precisely what workforce Serena Wiegman will choose for his or her World Cup opener towards Haiti on Saturday.

First, the excellent news: Millie Shiny is match to start out. With final summer time’s Euro captain Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead all injured, Shiny’s return is a big increase. However the listing of absentees — together with the retired Jill Scott and Ellen White — would type the backbone of the workforce, that means the place earlier than you can time your watch by the consistency Wiegman’s 4-2-3-1 within the Euros, there are nonetheless query marks over who begins.

Will Wiegman go together with Rachel Daly or Alessia Russo up entrance? Who will type the defensive unit.? Will they begin Alex Greenwood alongside Millie Shiny at centre-back, after which Niamh Charles or Jess Carter at left-back? Or will Greenwood begin at left-back, with Carter and Shiny at centre again? After which who will get the nod on the wings – will or not it’s Lauren James, Chloe Kelly or Lauren Hemp?

Wiegman would not give away any clues in her pre-match press convention Friday, and would not even say which positions have given her the most important headache. However regardless, Wiegman is aware of her most well-liked XI and it will be fascinating to see if she retains the religion with it like she did in the course of the Euros, or opts to shift issues round by the group phases.

If I needed to put my neck on the road, I believe we’ll see Daly up entrance, Carter alongside Shiny at centre again and Hemp and James beginning on the wings. — Tom Hamilton




Lose to Vietnam, win the World Cup? ‘Like Argentina!’

Vlatko Andonovski jokes in regards to the USWNT ‘ending up like Argentina’ and profitable the World Cup even when they undergo a shock loss of their opening sport like Messi’s facet did in 2022.

Group E: United States vs. Vietnam (Eden Park, Auckland; 1 p.m. native Saturday / 9 p.m. ET Friday / 2 a.m. BST Saturday)

Odds: USA -30000, Draw +2800, Vietnam +4000

Up subsequent, the highest-ranked workforce of the event (the US) towards one of many lowest-ranked groups (Vietnam). It could be tempting to see this as a possible redux of the USWNT’s 13-0 drubbing of Thailand 4 years in the past on the 2019 World Cup, however Vietnam’s current outcomes counsel that’s unlikely. Certain, Vietnam’s most up-to-date match was a 9-0 loss to Spain in July, however their 2-1 loss to Germany in June hints at a workforce able to making life troublesome.

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Nonetheless, let’s be clear: The USWNT ought to win comfortably, and if they do not, the phrase “upset” would not be ample to seize the hand-wringing that will comply with. For the Golden Star Ladies Warriors (as Vietnam is understood), solely striker Huynh Nhu performs membership soccer exterior of Vietnam. For the U.S., just one participant does not play domestically both — however the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League is among the greatest leagues on this planet, whereas Vietnam’s is decidedly not.

The extent between these two groups is not shut, even with Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe not at 100% but, and the Individuals will wish to problem a press release of intent with an enormous win. It may get ugly, however because the opening video games of this World Cup have proven, not every little thing goes in line with FIFA rankings. — Murray

Group C: Zambia vs. Japan (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton; 7 p.m. native Saturday / 3 a.m. ET Saturday / 8 a.m. BST Saturday)

Odds: Zambia +850, Draw +480, Japan -390

After a decade of mediocrity on the worldwide stage, Japan head into their first sport having lastly discovered their ft once more, with the workforce wanting increasingly more just like the facet who shocked the world to win the 2011 World Cup.

The largest problem for Japan shall be taking their probabilities slightly than simply letting their possession do the work, not least towards a hungry Zambia workforce making their World Cup debut. Barbra Banda and Racheal Kundananji are two gamers for the Copper Queens who shall be trying to upset the half and dish out one other shock in the course of the first spherical of video games. The antithesis of their opposition, Zambia are a workforce that strike with gusto on the counter, needing little or no to carve their opponents aside, with Banda main the cost for her nation.

Two groups with vastly completely different types — anticipate fireworks in Hamilton tomorrow night. — Lawson



Will bonus dispute overshadow England’s World Cup likelihood?

Sarina Wiegman and Millie Shiny open up on the dispute over FA bonuses forward of England’s first sport of the 2023 World Cup.

Group D: England vs. Haiti (Lang Park, Brisbane; 7:30 p.m. native Saturday / 5:30 a.m. ET Saturday / 10:30 a.m. BST Saturday)

Odds: England -8000, Draw +1500, Haiti +6000

On paper, this can be a monumental mismatch — England are fourth on this planet, Haiti are fifty fifth — however for Nicolas Delepine’s Haiti, it is a free shot at among the best groups within the sport. “If we wish to be among the best, we have now to play the perfect,” Delepine mentioned.

Although he mentioned he may “speak all press convention” about England’s strengths, he did take slightly shot on the Lionesses’ run of three matches with out a objective. “They’re attacking facet, however possibly they’ve an issue with ending,” he mentioned.

For England, this can be a case of constructing momentum and avoiding any setbacks. All 23 gamers within the squad are match to play — together with captain Millie Shiny, who has efficiently returned in time after struggling a knee damage in March. Wiegman has stored playing cards near her chest over what the beginning XI will seem like, dodging each query about it within the prematch information convention, however England are adamant they’re in place to get their World Cup marketing campaign off and operating regardless of every week dominated by off-field issues. — Hamilton

Group D: Denmark vs. China (Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth; 8 p.m. native Saturday / 8 a.m. ET Saturday / 1 p.m. BST Saturday)

Odds: Denmark -150, Draw +250, China +420

As is a rising theme at this event, China are coming into the competitors after a substantial lull and trying to recapture previous glory beneath Shui Qingxia, the newest in a protracted line of coaches to take the mantle. Up towards a Denmark workforce who themselves have struggled with underwhelming performances and an incapability to showcase the perfect of themselves, the match is assumed to assist resolve who finishes second in Group D, however past that, it ought to give a better concept of the shape each nations shall be exhibiting this summer time.

The match is prone to be determined by the respective attacking may of either side, with Pernille Tougher ending the WSL season with a flourish and exhibiting the kind of offensive play that shall be important to raise Denmark in Australia. On the opposite facet of the pitch, the Metal Roses shall be trying to Wang Shuang and captain Wang Shanshan to offer the spark in assault as they’ve on the previous two editions of the FIFA event.

Our high tip forward of the sport? Take heed to Denmark’s official 2023 World Cup track, even when we’re not completely offered on it but. — Lawson


How do you cease Alex Morgan?
The U.S. ahead is seemingly unstoppable on the large stage. We speak to some gamers who’ve needed to defend her up to now about what it is like going toe-to-toe with the goal-scoring legend.

England’s turbulent World Cup prep
It has been a troublesome yr for the Lionesses since profitable the Euros at dwelling final summer time. Can they rally, shrugging off key accidents and off-field battle, to make a robust run on the World Cup?

Why are so many Ladies’s World Cup stars lacking on account of torn ACLs?
The listing of absentees is depressingly lengthy. Why is that this long-term damage a lot extra prevalent within the girls’s sport?


Here is a narrative we missed earlier within the week out of Brazil, the place a authorities minister introduced adjustments to the working day that will permit civil servants to observe the ladies’s workforce compete on the 2023 World Cup.

Per Reuters, the decree was fairly express about wanting that point off, too: “On days when the video games are held at 7:30 am, the working hours will begin at 11 a.m. Brasilia time. On days when the video games are held at 8:00 a.m., the working hours will begin at 12:00 p.m. Brasilia time.”

Brazil start their World Cup marketing campaign on Monday towards Panama.

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