World Cup joy for Brazil and England, but France shocked

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 13, 2015 10:35 PM

By David Ljunggren

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Brazil became the second team to qualify for the knockout round of the women's World Cup on Saturday and England picked up a big win, but France suffered a shock defeat that could make their life at the tournament tougher.

Brazil joined defending champions Japan in the next stage with six points after a grim 1-0 win over Spain in a Montreal Group E game, striker Alessandro Alves tapping home in the 44th minute after a defensive error.

While Brazil rarely looked comfortable against a physical Spanish side and only managed two shots on target, coach Vadao brushed off questions about the lack of goals.

"I am not concerned about that ... our victories are what we're concerned about," he said after their second somewhat laborious win in a row.

Veteran striker Marta had a game to forget and Brazil will need to play much better if they are to equal their best ever World Cup performance, which was reaching the final of the tournament in 2007.

Although the standard of play was poor, organizers will no doubt be relieved that almost 29,000 people watched the game in Montreal's cavernous Olympic Stadium after just 10,000 watched the opening fixtures.

South Korea and Costa Rica put on a much better performance in the second Group E contest, which ended 2-2 after the Latin American side scored an 89th minute equalizer.

"It is not the three points we wanted. In South Korea there are many fans cheering for us and I feel very sorry," said unhappy head coach Yoon Deok-yeo.

Costa Rica are now second in the group with two points while South Korea and Spain have one each.


Third-ranked France suffered the biggest shock of the tournament so far after going down 2-0 to Colombia.

Lady Andrade beat the offside trap to score in the 19th minute and Catalina Usme took advantage of a bad goalkeeper error in second-half stoppage time to give the South Americans the win in Moncton.

"There were numerous aspects that weren't quite right today. We weren't accurate enough with our passes at key moments," said French coach Philippe Bergeroo.

Colombia, ranked 28th, now head Group F with four points and coach Fabian Taborda issued a warning to the other teams.

"We've proved that we're not just here to make up the numbers ... my players are real battlers," he said.

France's loss leaves them on three points and in third place, behind England on goal difference.

England, who lost to France in their group opener, got back on track with a 2-1 win over Mexico with two second-half goals from midfielder Fran Kirby and Karen Carney.

The four best third-placed teams in the six groups will also qualify for the knockout round, which means four points could be enough. This sets up a potentially thrilling final round of games in Group F, where England meet Colombia while France play Mexico, who have one point but could advance with a win.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)