Women’s World Cup Matchday 1 recap & standings: favourites all make winning starts, Borges nets Brazil hat-trick

Matchday 1 of the Women’s World Cup is all but completed following Brazil’s 4-0 win over Panama. So, let’s recap what has happened throughout the opening set of matches in Australia & New Zealand.

There are currently just two teams who have yet to get their WWC tournaments underway. These are Colombia and South Korea, who face off in Sydney on Tuesday morning (UK).

However, everyone else has begun their World Cup journey. Many hotly contested matches have kept the tension high throughout matchday 1 of the Women’s World Cup – although the favourites have thus far been successful.

Let’s go group by group and look back on these first games.

Groups A and B: hosts earn first wins

New Zealand got their World Cup off to a winning start in front of a passionate home crowd in Auckland. The Ferns earned a 1-0 victory over Norway, with Ria Percival’s missed penalty fortunately not costing the co-hosts the win.

Meanwhile, Norway – who some tipped to win Group A – have some catching up to do.

Elsewhere, Switzerland claimed a solid 2-0 victory over the Philippines. Goals from Ramona Bachmann and Seraina Piubel secured three points for the European side.

Australia emulated their fellow host nation by beating the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in their opener. Impressively, the Matildas managed this with star striker Sam Kerr consigned to the bench due to injury. Australia will hope to have the Chelsea forward back towards the end of the group stage.

The other Group B encounter on Matchday 1 saw Nigeria and Canada play out a 0-0 draw.

Group AGroup B
1)Switzerland, 3pts1)Australia, 3pts
2)New Zealand, 3pts2)Canada, 1pt
3)Norway, 0pts3)Nigeria, 1pt
4)Philippines, 0pts4)Ireland, 0pts

Groups C and D: Lionesses scrape win, Spain and Japan dominate

We could be in for a fascinating battle in Women’s World Cup Group C if Matchday 1 is anything to go by. Firstly, Spain stormed to a dominant 3-0 win over Costa Rica. Incredibly, the Spanish side registered 46 shots in total throughout the proceedings.

Not to be outdone, Japan thrashed Zambia 5-0 in the other Group C game. Nadeshiko even had two goals, as well as a penalty, ruled out for offside.

Unfortunately, though, we have to wait until Matchday 3 before Japan and Spain face each other.

In contrast, Group D was rather low scoring. A courageous, brilliant performance from Haiti saw them push England to the brink. However, the European champions claimed a 1-0 victory via a Georgia Stanway penalty.

Denmark also won 1-0 in the other Group D match. Here, Amalie Vansgaard scored just four minutes after coming on to give the Danes three points against China.

Group CGroup D
1) Japan, 3pts1) Denmark, 3pts
2) Spain, 3pts2) England, 3pts
3) Costa Rica, 0pts3) China, 0pts
4) Zambia, 0pts4) Haiti, 0pts

Groups E and F: Sophia Smith gets USWNT title defence off to winning start

The USA began their Women’s World Cup campaign off with a professional 3-0 defeat of Vietnam. Sophia Smith, predicted to be one of the stars of Australia & New Zealand, made an immediate impact with two goals.

Alex Morgan’s missed penalty means that the USWNT striker still waits to get off the mark, though.

In the other Group E encounter, the Netherlands narrowly bettered Portugal with a 1-0 win in Dunedin. Stefanie van der Gragt came up with the crucial goal.

Group F then saw two of the predicted “dark horse” contenders get off to differing starts. France played out a frustrating 0-0 draw with Jamaica. Despite 72% possession, Les Bleus could not find a way past the Caribbean nation.

Contrastingly, Brazil brushed aside Panama on Monday. Ary Borges was the decisive star for Selecao, scoring an impressive hat-trick. Brazil also brought on the legend that is Marta, marking a historic sixth World Cup tournament for her.

Group EGroup F
1) USA, 3pts1) Brazil, 3pts
2) Netherlands, 3pts2) France, 1pt
3) Portugal, 0pts3) Jamaica, 1pt
4) Vietnam, 0pts4) Panama, 0pts

Group G and H: Germany cruise to huge win

The European sides stole an early advantage over their opponents in Group G’s Matchday 1 at the Women’s World Cup. Firstly, Sweden came from behind to beat South Africa 2-1.

Shortly after, Cristiana Girelli’s late goal helped Italy defeat Argentina 1-0 in Auckland.

This finally brings us to Group H. Of course, Colombia and South Korea are yet to play. But Germany have already stamped their authority on the group. They thrashed Morocco 6-0, registering the biggest victory margin of the 2023 Women’s World Cup Matchday 1 games.

Clearly, the German side mean business in Australia & New Zealand.

Group GGroup H
1) Sweden, 3pts1) Germany, 3pts
2) Italy, 3pts2) Colombia, 0pt*
3) South Africa, 0pts3) South Korea, 0pt*
4) Argentina, 0pts4) Morocco, 0pts

Featured image credit: Getty