Valenciennes: Australia will try to keep their Women & # 39; s World Cup alive when they meet Brazil on Thursday, after big hitters France and Germany have paved the way to the final 16 with narrow wins.
The Matildas attacked Italy in their opening group C game with a 2-1 defeat and did not dare to lose against Brazil in Montpellier (kick-off 1600 GMT) with criticism of coach Ante Milicic in their ears.
Milicic, who was in charge in six months, was thrown home due to his gung-ho tactics that allowed Italy to attack behind a high line of defense.
In the aftermath, he and Caitlin Foord said they would not change their style, which could prove risky against a Brazilian side that impressed in a 3-0 hammering from Jamaica where Cristiane scored a hat trick.
Brazil is on three points equal to Italy, which plays Jamaica on Friday, and a defeat for the dark Australian horses before the tournament would give them the risk of being eliminated or seeing the winner of group A or B if they pinch through as a of the four best finishers in third place.
That could mean a clash with both France and Germany, who both took the lead on Wednesday over their groups with hard-fought victories over Norway and Spain.
LE SOMMER SAVES RENARD
Eugenie Le Sommer fired France from the penalty spot to the top of group A with another 18 minutes in Nice.
The second goal of the Lyon star of the tournament put France on a perfect six points – three free from Norway and Nigeria – and saved the blush of her club teammate Wendie Renard, who opened Valerie Gauvin & 46's opener for Les Bleues for 46 minutes had been eliminated with a barely credible own purpose.
Renard, whose length and power had led Norway to simulate her presence in the area for the set-pieces in training with the help of a long press officer, was desperate after he had Isabell Herlovsen & # 39; s cross without any pressure in her own net ticked.
"I made a big mistake by scoring a goal against my own team, unfortunately for me and unfortunately for my team," Renard told channel Canal +.
"We didn't drop our heads … and we were rewarded with the fine."
Germany practically assured itself of missing a clash with rampant holders in the last 16 after canceling the absence of star player Dzsenifer Marozsan to beat Spain 1-0 and take control of Group B.
Marozsan will at least miss the last Group B match against South Africa after breaking her toe in the opening by her side with 1-0 win over China.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Sara Daebritz made Germany strong favorites in the pool by jumping three minutes before the break for the striking Spanish defender Marta Torrejon, who didn't know after goalkeeper Sandra Panos saved Alexandra Popp's header.
The Germans are three points free from Spain and a point against South Africa on Monday will guarantee that they remain at the top of Group B and will avoid a possible collision with US title holders.
Asked by reporters or watching the US dismantle of Thailand 13-0 on Tuesday in their opening match & # 39; extra motivation & # 39; had been to make it to the finish line, coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg smiles: "Both teams knew they did not want to play the winners of Group F."
Spain in second place, wasted in spite of dominant possessions and left on rue Nahikari Garcia, which cut wide in the 14th minute when it was clean, should still make progress, but will undergo a more difficult test against China on Monday .
China faces Group B rivals South Africa in Paris on Thursday (1900 GMT) with both looking for their first points.
. (tagsToTranslate) 2019 FIFA Women