Spain without the S for Costa Rica as penalty drama rocks World Cup

Former Matildas great Heather Garriock didn’t mince her words after another controversial penalty was awarded to Switzerland in game four of the Women’s World Cup.

The on-field decision from the referee was to not award a spot kick, but a VAR review overturned the call and allowed the Swiss to take the lead over the Philippines before half time.

Garriock was clearly not impressed with the VAR’s intervention.

“Definitely not a pen in my opinion. I think that’s pretty harsh, it’s gonna change the whole game,” Garriock said.

The Philippines couldn’t find their way back into the contest, with another Swiss goal after some chaos in the box handing them a 2-0 win.

A fifth penalty of the tournament was then awarded to Spain in their clash with Costa Rica, however this one was saved.


Three goals in six minutes have kickstarted Spain’s World Cup campaign against Costa Rica.

After 20 minutes of dominance, it was Costa Rican defender Valeria del Campo who put the ball into her own net after a low cross was fired into a dangerous area.

The flood gates then opened, with a second goal scored just 119 seconds after kick off from the first, and then a third four minutes later to pile on the pain.

The signs are looking ominous, with wave after wave of attacks from the women in red and more goals are looking inevitable.


After the controversial penalty call in the first half, Switzerland proved too strong for the Philippines and ran out 2-0 winners.

The Philippines made a good account of themselves in what was their first ever Women’s World Cup match, but in the end the Swiss were too strong and overpowered their opposition.

Seraina Séverin Piubel’s second-half strike, despite a brilliant double-save effort from Philippines keeper Olivia Davies-McDaniel, was enough to seal the result.


For the fourth straight match this tournament we have a penalty awarded and it’s gone to Switzerland two minutes from half-time against the Philippines.

A clinical spot kick hands the European side the advantage and you can’t help but feel for the Philippines who have already had a goal disallowed for offside.

Not to mention the fact it barely looked like a penalty, ridiculous call in all honesty.

Refs are going to come under fire and hardly surprising she’s being booed.

Former Matilda Heather Garriock didn’t mince her words upon viewing a replay of the decision.

“Definitely not a pen in my opinion. I think that’s pretty harsh, it’s gonna change the whole game,” Garriock said.


England’s Mary Earps admits to feeling “hugely” disappointed that fans cannot buy official Lionesses goalkeeper shirts if they wish.

England’s top shot-stopper at this year’s World Cup, has been in talks with kit makers Nike to find a solution.

Earps’ remarks come five months after FIFA named her the best women’s goalkeeper in the world at a glitzy Paris ceremony where she chatted with World Cup winner Emi Martinez.

The long-sleeved tops worn by her, Ellie Roebuck and Hannah Hampton in England games are not currently manufactured for retail sale by Nike.

The Lionesses’ vice-captain, 30, said: “It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful.

“It is something that I have been fighting behind closed doors, I have been trying to go through the correct channels as much as possible.

“This is why I have not spoken on it publicly, even though I have been asked a lot about it over the past few months because I have been desperately trying to find a solution with the FA and with Nike.

“On a personal level, it is obviously hugely hurtful considering the last 12 months especially – and also I think there has been an incredible rise in goalkeeping participation over that year.”

Earps, who plays for Manchester United, made history in May when she became the first shot stopper to keep 50 clean sheets in the WSL

The England star, who has more than 665,000 TikTok followers, added: “My shirt on the Manchester United website was sold out last season.

“It was the third best-selling shirt. That was my frustration and I ask, can there be any solution? Can there be a replica shirt that can be sold to young people?

“I get comments all the time on all my social media channels: “Mary, where are the shirts!”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it happen. I feel really bad that a massive portion of the fans have been truly let down by this, it makes me feel really really crap to be honest.”

Originally published by The Sun

Canada veteran Christine Sinclair’s missed penalty against nigeria could prove enormously costly for her side’s World Cup campaign but plays into the Matilda’s fortunes beautifully.

Two minutes into the second half, Sinclair appealed to referee Lina Lehtovaara for a penalty after being sliced down in the area, urging officials to consult VAR and overturn their decision.

They ultimately did but Sinclair could not uphold her side of the bargain with the veteran driving the spot kick straight into Chiamaka Nnadozie.

“She’s saved it brilliantly down to her left to deny the veteran,” Simon Hill said.

“Well what a stop, she’s an athletic goalkeeper and she got down so well, had the presence of mind to get back up and haul the ball away.”

Nigeria did well to hold off their opponents and frustrate them for much of the match and came close to a mighty upset 10 minutes from the final whistle only to be denied by some heroics by Kailen Sheridan.

The goalless draw means Australia sit three points clear at the top of Group B after one match apiece.

anada are expected to be their main challengers to get to the knock-out stage.

The Matildas play Nigeria next trhursday before meeting the Canadians on July 31.


Haiti’s Women’s World Cup debut on Saturday can have “a very big impact” on a country that “is suffering at the moment”, their captain Nerilia Mondesir said ahead of their match against European champions England.

While many teams at the World Cup have had to fight for recognition and resources, the Haitians have had to overcome the additional challenges afflicting the Caribbean nation.

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country and has for years been mired in a vicious cycle of political, humanitarian, economic and health crises.

Add in brutal gang violence, and the United Nations’ top human rights official earlier this year described Haiti’s multiple problems as a “living nightmare”.

All that means the team’s exploits in reaching the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand go beyond sport, Mondesir said on Friday.

“I think it can have a very big impact,” she told reporters of their World Cup debut.

“The country is suffering at the moment and we’re trying with football to represent the country the best we can and give everything for this shirt.

“And try to help people think of something else other than all the troubles we have in the country.”


Another day, another penalty and another VAR decision over riding the FIFA officials at the Women’s World Cup – and rightly so.

Canada and Nigeria were less than 120 seconds into the second half of their clash before Christine Sinclair appealed to referee Lina Lehtovaara for a penalty after being sliced down in the area, urging officials to consult VAR and overturn their decision.

They ultimately did but Sinclair could not uphold her side of the bargain with the veteran driving the spot kick straight into Chiamaka Nnadozie.

“She’s saved it brilliantly down to her left to deny the veteran,” Simon Hill said.

“Well what a stop, she’s an athletic goalkeeper and she got down so well, had the presence of mind to get back up and haul the ball away.”


Olympic champions Canada are up against Nigeria in the first of today’s three matches and they’re being held well so far at AAMI Park.

After half an hour of play the match is goalless but the stats speak volumes with Canada enjoying 75% of possession. Christine Sinclair has had the best chance of the game and that game in the opening five minutes but it’s her keeper that was almost caught blushing.

Ten minutes before the break she totally misread a Nigeria attempt on goal, missed the ball – and Asisat Oshoala – leaving her goal wide open.

Australia take on Nigeria next Thursday and Canada in their final group match.


FIFA has been clear in their rules on any displays of support for the LGBTQ community, banning players from wearing rainbow armbands for the duration of the World Cup, but New Zealand’s Ali Riley has defied the rules.

The Kiwi playmaker opted for a rainbow fashion statement with multi coloured nails for her side’s opening clash against Norway which the host country won 1-0.

Riley was also sporting the (approved) FIFA armband which said “united for inclusion”.

In tears when the final whistle sounded to mark New Zealand’s first ever World Cup victory, Riley was thrilled with her side’s performance.

“I know we came into this as underdogs. I know there was a lot of doubt, a lot of articles being written saying how many times we haven’t won a game, but we believed in ourselves the whole time.

“From the first whistle we were winning the 50-50s, we were winning first and second balls. It looked like we wanted it more, and it gave us confidence, and we were pushing to score, so when that goal finally came, it felt like, yeah, we deserved it.

“Then it’s like, can we hold on? We had another chance and another chance, we had the penalty [sent into the crossbar by Ria Percival in the 90th minute].

“I’m just so proud of the team’s performance. The result is very important and that’s what people remember.

“But I think for the people who showed up tonight, the 40-plus thousand, to see the way we performed and fought – the resilience of this team, how gritty the effort was, the sprinting – everything like that is the kind of performance that we wanted to show.”


It was a terrific opening night for the Matildas who claimed a 1-0 victory in their World Cup opener despite the late revelation that Sam Kerr was injured more than 24 hours before and would miss the match.

But there remains an issue with how women’s sport is being covered and fans have not let Channel 7 get away with it.

On numerous occasions during the clash with Ireland, audiences were reminded of how many mothers there were on the field.

Does it matter? How many of the Australian cricket team are dads? Do we get reminded of that every time they go out to bat?


Then came the real stinger.

David Basheer’s commentary regarding Katrina Gorry, who was by far and away the best player on the field in what was a subdued overall performance from the Matildas.

“Certainly motherhood has not blunted her competitive instincts, that’s for sure,” he said.

“She is one fighter for Australia.”

Basheer may have meant nothing but praise, but since when has motherhood impacted anyone’s competitive edge?

“Don’t know if that commentator has ever met a mother … The most instinctively competitive people on earth,” said comedian Dan Ilic.

Walkley Award winning journalist Matilda Boseley said: “I swear to god if one more commentator makes a comment about how many mums or on the Matilda’s team I’m going to punch a hole in the wall. How many dad’s in the Socceroos mate?”


Australia suffered a major setback ahead of Thursday night’s match when captain and star striker Sam Kerr was ruled out of at least the first two World Cup games with a calf injury.

Tilly Werner spoke to the players in the wake of the 1-0 win over Ireland:

Kyra Cooney-Cross: “We found out today at lunch time she wouldn’t be playing.”

“Obviously we were a bit upset, she’s our captain and one of the best players in the world but we can’t let that affect us. I think we handled the nerves well, we were just excited to get out there.”

Cortnee Vine: “We knew [she was injured] the day before and I had a heads up that I might be playing so I think you just have to prepare and we found out this morning that I was starting, I just prepared as usual, calm, relaxed and ready to go.”

Katrina Gorry: “It doesn’t matter who goes down, we know that everyone can step up and play an important role in this team. Losing Sammy just gives us a bit of extra fire to keep on winning, to keep on putting our best foot forward for her.” 

Ellie Carpenter: ”It was heartbreaking for Sam and myself and the whole team. Obviously she was with us the whole game, we had this win for her. She’ll be back soon. She’s always supporting, she’s always there, she’s always in the changeroom. Before, after, during you can always hear her. 

Mary Fowler: “Obviously we feel for Sam. This is such a big tournament and she means so much to this team and this country but she’s had love from the teammates towards her and her towards us so we move forward. We keep going.”


Ireland called off their pre World Cup match against Colombia after 20 minutes “for fear of their bodies” but had no issue going hard against the Matildas.

Katie McCabe delivered some heavy tackles to numerous Australia players in their opening match 1-0 defeat in Sydney and the heavy handedness of the Irish captain didn’t go unnoticed.

“There’s an element of petulance here from Katie McCabe,” Former England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley said on the BBC.

“These challenges from her have just started to add up now.

“It is the referee‘s responsibility to manage those situations, because if you don’t nip it in the bud then it will just keep escalating.

“We certainly don‘t want to see anyone either stretchered off or sent off.”

Australia’s Hayley Raso was on the receiving end of the worst of McCabe with a number of crunching tackles flooring the winger.


It wasn’t just the backwards commentary that irked fans watching the World Cup on Channel 7 – well those that were able to watch that is.

A worrying number of spectators took to social media to lament the fact the streaming platform 7plus was not working at crucial moments of the Matildas match.

“Geez, if only someone could have predicted that millions of people would all want to be using 7plus at the same time tonight,” one wrote.

Channel 7 suggested the issues were down to user error.


By Tilly Werner

With her captain on the sideline, Katrina Gorry relished the opportunity to deliver the heart-stopping moments usually reserved for Sam Kerr in the Matildas’ 1-0 win over Ireland.

While the Australians’ could have easily been deflated by Kerr being condemned to the sidelines, Gorry worked with immense pace to keep her teammates’ spirits up.

“It doesn’t matter who goes down, were know that everyone can step up and play an important role for our team,” Gorry says.

“I think losing Sammy it just gives us an extra bit of fire to keep on winning and put our best foot forward from her.”

Gorry was crucial in the Matildas challenging for the 24% uncontested possession, which made the match such a tense affair.

“It was a pretty exhaustive game, not the prettiest one either but the main one was putting on a show for all of the stands in the stadium.”

Gorry led the match for turnover tackles, delivered important passage intercepts and often acted as a fifth backline player with Kennedy and Polkinhorne drawn forward to contest the Matildas’ set plays.

With her daughter one of the 75,000 fans on the sidelines, it was always going to be an emotional night for Gorry, in her third World Cup.

“It’s incredibly special for me,” Gorry said post-match.

“When I held Harp in my arms for the first time it was a promise to get back to the World Cup with her.

“The journey has been exciting, fun and tough at times but no to be sharing this moment with her it’s so special.

“I think singing the national anthem with 75,000 people was pretty special for all of us. A few of us had tears in our eyes. I think it just reflects on our career and how special this is.

“To know how many people are supporting us, I couldn’t have come back at a better time and enjoy it with a better bunch.”

With AFP

Japan won the World Cup in 2011 playing a free-flowing style that made them the envy of women’s football, but they have fallen behind since then, sparking accusations of mismanagement and neglect.

Japan used their slick attacking game to beat the United States in the final 12 years ago and went on to finish runners-up at the 2012 Olympics and 2015 World Cup.

But they failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Games and have since struggled to haul themselves back among the top contenders in women’s football.

Japan begin their latest World Cup campaign on Saturday against Zambia, but they are ranked 11th now and no longer among the favourites.

“I think we were left behind by the sudden strides that the rest of the world were making,” former Japan coach Asako Takakura, who led the team at the 2019 World Cup, said.

In February, World Cup-winning striker Yuki Nagasato pointed the finger at Japanese football chiefs, saying they had “not done anything for 12 years to maintain or improve” the women’s game in the country.

Nagasato, who last played for Japan in 2016, launched a tirade on her personal website after the team’s games at the SheBelieves Cup were not broadcast at home.

“We don’t want you to misunderstand, this is not only this time problem,” Nagasato, who scored 58 goals in 132 international games, wrote in English on her website.

“Lack of many things has been building up and this is the result of what they’ve done for us.”

Originally published as FIFA World Cup 2023: Ch7 pundit slammed for outdated Matildas commentary, NZ defy FIFA, Canada stunned, penalty drama

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