The first round of games in the Group Stage is now complete, so below are the complete results of the (12) matches, as well as current group standings.
- France 4
- South Korea 0
Day 1, Group A, Paris: The host country (France) has the honor of playing the first match of the tournament, on a day with only this single game. (This does not happen again until the Quarterfinals.)
France scored in the 9th minute, courtesy of Eugenie Le Sommer, which was the fastest score in an opening game in World Cup history. Wendie Renard scored twice more in the first half, at the 35th minute and in stoppage time, leaving the outcome in little doubt. Amandine Henry added another late in the second half, 85th minute, making this a statement game for the host team.
In fact, it would remain the most decisive victory of the round, until the last game… [foreshadowing]
- Germany 1
- China 0
Day 2, Group B, Rennes: Germany would be expected to win this game, but China held them scoreless until the second half, and having some excellent scoring opportunities of their own. However, in the 66th minute, Giulia Gwinn gave Germany their only goal and it proved to be enough for a slim victory.
- Spain 3
- South Africa 1
Day 2, Group B, Le Havre: South Africa got on the board first, with Thembi Kgatlana scoring in the 25th minute what was the first ever goal for South Africa in World Cup play, and they held that lead into the second half. However, Spain was awarded two penalty kicks, each of which Jennifer Hermoso converted into goals, in the 69th and 82nd minutes, to tie the game and then take the lead. Lucia Garcia scored a proper goal late, in the 89th minute, to seal Spain’s first ever World Cup win.
Hermoso becomes the first player to score two goals from penalty kicks in World Cup history. The second comes from a (soft) yellow card foul by Nothando Vilkazi, who had been booked previously and, therefore, received an indirect red card and was removed from the match; she will not be available for South Africa in their match against China on Thursday.
- Norway 3
- Nigeria 0
Day 2, Group A, Reims: Although Nigeria applied some early pressure, Guro Reiten scored the first goal for Norway in the 17th minute. Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland added a second in the 34th minute, and just about 3 minutes later, in the 37th minute, a failed clear by Osinachi Ohale resulted in an own goal, leaving Norway with a dominant lead before halftime; the score did not change in the second half.
- Italy 2
- Australia 1
Day 3, Group C, Valenciennes: Australia were the favorites coming into the game, and Sam Kerr gave them the lead with a goal coming off a rebound of her own stopped penalty kick in the 22nd minute. However, Italy had other ideas, with Barbara Bonansea scoring for the Azzurre in the 56th minute to tie the game (having already had an early goal reversed after VAR review). After reversal of another goal that would have given Italy the lead, it looked as though we would have the first tie of the tournament. Then, in the 5th (and final) minute of stoppage time, Bonansea scored to not only give Italy the victory, and the first upset of the tournament, but also the record for the latest winning goal in World Cup history.
- Brazil 3
- Jamaica 0
Day 3, Group C, Grenoble: There was no shortage of storylines, as this was Jamaica’s first ever World Cup game, and actually the first for any Caribbean nation; they were ranked lowest of all tournament qualifiers, and they were the biggest underdogs. Brazil, however, were playing without Marta, their star, and under a cloud of bad press she helped create. Although Jamaica acquitted themselves well, Christiane scored a beautiful header for Brazil in the 15th minute. She then proceeded to turn that goal into a hattrick with a back post shot in the 50th minute and a perfectly placed direct kick in the 64th minute.
While Jamaica made history simply by starting the game, so did Brazil’s Formiga who, at 41 years and 98 days old, became the oldest player in World Cup history, as well as the first player to appear in seven World Cup tournaments. Christiane’s three goals were also the most by one player, until the last game… [more foreshadowing]
- England 2
- Scotland 1
Day 3, Group D, Nice: This game had the most historic anticipation coming in, as it was Scotland’s first game in a World Cup tournament, so Scotland and England had never met in the tournament. Beyond that, both teams are part of Great Britain and players from both teams will play under that flag in the Olympics next year, provided they qualify, which is based partially on the performance of the England team this year.
Scotland started the game very strong, but England scored first with a penalty kick by Nikita Parris in the 14th minute, seemingly taking some of the wind out of their sails. Ellen White added another goal in the 40th minute, giving England a solid lead at halftime. Scotland continued to play well in the second half and Claire Emslie brought the score within one by her goal in the 79th minute, the first ever for Scotland in the World Cup. However, that was the last of the scoring and England held on for the win.
- Argentina 0
- Japan 0
Day 4, Group D, Paris: Japan was a definite favorite in this game, especially given that Argentina had a World Cup record of 0-0-6 and is some 28 positions lower in the world rankings. Japan had a few chances, but failed to capitalize on any of them, leaving the game a scoreless tie, the only tie in the first round. Nevertheless, it was a historic day for Argentina, earning its first point in World Cup play in its third tournament, and could be considered something of an upset.
- Canada 1
- Cameroon 0
Day 4, Group E, Montpelier: Cameroon was the second largest underdog in this game to Canada, according to world rankings. There was no score for most of the first half, but Kadeisha Buchanan headed in a goal from a corner kick just before halftime (45th minute) to give Canada the lead. The score never changed after that, though Canada did most of the attacking for the duration and certainly earned the victory.
- Netherlands 1
- New Zealand 0
Day 5, Group E, Le Havre: The teams played to a scoreless draw for the full 90 minutes, minus stoppage time, but despite the lack of goals, there were several good opportunities on both sides, though probably favoring New Zealand. However, substitute Jill Roord scored a goal for the Netherlands in the 92nd minute, leaving New Zealand still seeking its first World Cup win, despite a strong performance. This was the second game of the tournament decided in stoppage time.
- Sweden 2
- Chile 0
Day 5, Group F, Rennes: This was Chile’s first ever World Cup game, and they acquitted themselves well, playing the favored Sweden team to a scoreless draw until the 72th minute, when the game was stopped for approximately 40 minutes due to weather (specifically, lightning). Everything remained status quo for more than 10 minutes after the restart, when Kosovare Asllani scored for Sweden in the 83rd minute. Madelen Janogy assured their victory with a stoppage time goal in the 94th minute.
- United States 13
- Thailand 0
Day 5, Group F, Reims: No, that is not a typo: The United States team really did score 13 goals in this game against Thailand, who were thoroughly outclassed. The United States controlled possession for 75% of the time, and Thailand could rarely string 2 passes together, getting only 2 (weak) shots all game (compared to 39 by USA). It was utter dominance — record-breaking dominance.
The game remained scoreless for almost 12 minutes, though it never looked like anything but a United States victory. Alex Morgan scored her first goal in the 12th minute, and the half continued with goals by Rose Lavelle in the 20th minute and Lindsey Horan in the 32nd minute, leaving the United States with a commanding 3-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, the floodgates opened: Sam Mewis (50th minute), Morgan (53rd), Mewis (54th), Lavelle (56th), Morgan (74th), Megan Rapinoe (79th), Morgan (81st), Mallory Pugh (85th), Morgan (87th), and Carli Lloyd (92nd).
In World Cup history:
- 13-0 is the largest margin of victory
- 13 is the most goals scored by a team in a game
- 10 is the most goals score by a team in a half
- 7 is the largest number of different players scoring in a game
- 5 is the most goals scored by a single player (Alex Morgan) in a game
To put this into perspective, the United States scored more than a third of all goals in the tournament so far, and Alex Morgan scored more goals alone than any other team in the tournament. The United States scored more goals today than half of the qualified teams had scored in their entire World Cup history. To top it all off, Carli Lloyd’s late goal means that she has a scoring streak of 5 consecutive World Cup games. Wow!
- 1st: France 3 (1-0-0, +4)
- 2nd: Norway 3 (1-0-0, +3)
- 3rd: Nigeria 0 (0-0-1, -3)
- 4th: South Korea 0 (0-0-1, -4)
- 1st: Spain 3 (1-0-0, +2)
- 2nd: Germany 3 (1-0-0, +1)
- 3rd: China 0 (0-0-1, -1)
- 4th: South Africa 0 (0-0-1, -2)
- 1st: Brazil 3 (1-0-0, +3)
- 2nd: Italy 3 (1-0-0, +1)
- 3rd: Australia 0 (0-0-1, -1)
- 4th: Jamaica 0 (0-0-1, -3)
- 1st: England 3 (1-0-0, +1)
- 2nd: Argentina 1 (0-1-0, 0)
- 3rd: Japan 1 (0-1-0, 0)
- 4th: Scotland 0 (0-0-1, -1)
Note: Argentina outranks Japan on fair play points (0 to -3).
- 1st: Canada 3 (1-0-0, +1)
- 1st: Netherlands 3 (1-0-0, +1)
- 3rd: New Zealand 0 (0-0-1, -1)
- 4th: Cameroon 0 (0-0-1, -1)
Note: New Zealand outranks Cameroon on fair play points (0 to -2).
- 1st: United States 3 (1-0-0, +13)
- 2nd: Sweden 3 (1-0-0, +2)
- 3rd: Chile 0 (0-0-1, -2)
- 4th: Thailand 0 (0-0-1, -13)
It is too early to draw any definitive conclusions, except that the United States is undoubtedly the favorite as the defending (and three-time) Champions, with the World #1 ranking, having authored a historically dominant first round win. Based on first match performance, Australia, Germany, and Japan looked soft, while Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Argentina, and Chile all appeared stronger than expected. The second round, which starts tomorrow, should provide more clarity.