It was an overnight goals game at the Women’s World Cup, with Germany and Brazil advancing through the group tables with dominant wins. A total of 10 goals were scored between the winning teams, while keeping the opposition scoreless.
It was a tougher task for Italy and Argentina in their match, but Italy’s veteran captain scored a late one for the winning score.
Ary Borges scored a hat-trick on her World Cup debut, becoming the first Brazilian player to do so. His first two goals gave Brazil an early 2-0 lead that looked more than secure and a third came late in the match. Brazil is the only nation to have won its first eight World Cup matches, and added its ninth with a 4-0 victory over Panama, which made its debut.
It was only a matter of time before Brazil opened the scoring against an outclassed Panamanian team.
They took the shot on goal in the first minute and started shooting, including a slightly high header from Debinha. In the 18th minute, her free-kick deflected to the left, but when Brazil regained possession, she had room to dart down the left and cross to Ary Borges at the other post. Borges took his time in defense with a header, sending Brazil to the top of the table with one match of the tournament.
It was her first World Cup goal, and she landed facedown on the ground for a short period of relief. Borges added a second in the 39th minute, connecting a rebound to his own head. Tamires made the cross.
Borges gave up the chance to score a hat-trick two minutes into the second, when he again received a cross from Debinha. Instead of shooting, he pushed towards Bia Zaneratto, who scored with a shot just wide of the net.
She earned her hat-trick 20 minutes later, on another header that hit Panamanian goalkeeper Yenith Bailey.
Marta came on for Borges in the 75th minute. It is Marta’s sixth World Cup and she has scored in every one she has played in since 2003, when she was 17. Her 17 goals are the most World Cup goals by any man or woman.
Brazil moves to the leadership of Group F with three points and will face France next. Panama will play against Jamaica. France, one of the title favorites behind the United States, and Jamaica were tied by one point each.
Germany captain and veteran star Alexandra Popp scored two goals to lead the way to victory over Morocco, who became the first North African and Arab-majority nation to play in a Women’s World Cup.
Popp headed in the first half goal in the 11th minute and scored the second in the 39th minute. This opened up finishing opportunities for Germany. Klara Buehl scored a goal 23 seconds before half-time and Germany scored a fourth goal in the 54th minute. Morocco failed to clear a corner and the ball ended up going out of Hanane Ait El Haj for an own goal.
A similar problem happened in the 79th minute on an own goal from a Sara Dabritz corner, and Lea Schueller scored in the 90th minute when Lena Lattwein’s shot bounced back into the keeper’s play.
The six goals is the most of the tournament so far. Colombia and South Korea will face each other in Group H as the final teams to open their tournament schedule.
Germany, ranked second in the world behind the United States, have won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and are looking to top their 2019 quarter-final appearance.
Morocco looked to have scored, losing 3-0, but it was ruled offside. They had five attempts on goal and three on target. Newcomers to the World Cup will face South Korea.
Italy 1, Argentina 0
Cristiana Girelli headed in the winner in the 87th minute to become Italy’s hero in a close and difficult match.
The veteran came on in the 83rd minute and headed in a cross to give Italy the winning goal. Afterwards, she compared it to her hat-trick against Jamaica in 2019.
“I think today is the ultimate,” she said. “The hat-trick was very special, of course, but this is an even better feeling. It was more important. We needed it. I’m very, very happy.”
Girelli, 33, is the oldest player on the team, who started 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni. The teenager is the youngest player to represent Italy and the second youngest in Europe, according to FIFA.
Italy and Argentina were nearly level on goal attempts and shots on goal.
Italy reached the quarter-finals in 2019 and are tied with Sweden at the top of Group G with three points apiece.