European sides Germany and Italy begin Women’s World Cup campaigns with wins.
Captain Alexandra Popp-inspired Germany got off to a flyer at the Women’s World Cup, thrashing Morocco 6-0 at the AAMI park.
It took the two-time champions just 11 minutes to take the lead, as Popp converted Kathrin Hendrich’s cross to catch Morocco’s defence napping.
Popp’s second goal just before the 40-minute mark saw the tournament favourites go into halftime with a comfortable lead, setting up an opportunity to further trouble the scorekeepers in the second half.
Two own goals and a goal each from Klara Buhl and Lea Schuller saw the Germans cruise past their North African opponents, with Colombia’s challenge next on the deck.
Italy shrug off Argentina in a close contest
Playmaker Cristiana Girelli scored a header late in the second half after coming off the bench as Italy shrugged off Argentina to start the World Cup campaign with a win.
In an intense physical battle, both sides came close to scoring since the early minutes, yet were cautious enough in defence to almost end up in a stalemate.
Italy thought they had the lead early in the 15th minute, only for Arianna Caruso’s strike to be ruled out for offside. Despite an improved display throughout the first half, Italy had to wait – and survive two Argentinian freekicks that nearly got in – before the winner came in.
With the win, Italy now stand second in Group G, trailing Sweden on goals scored. Argentina, meanwhile, must win against South Africa on Friday to keep their qualification hopes alive.