WWC 2015: Best and Worst of Match Day 11 – Group E

-

Our daily guide to the best and the worst of today’s Group E action in the 2015 Women’s World Cup!.

The best and worst of Group E

What Happened

With first place in the group and qualification for the next round already secure after wins in their first two games, Brazil rested key players for their final group match against Costa Rica and won narrowly; a late Racquel Fernandes goal securing a 1-0 win over a spirited Costa Rican side.

The Brazilians dominated shots and possession but were kept scoreless for all but the final six minutes of the match by the heroic Dinnia Diaz in the Costa Rican goal; the goalkeeper making crucial saves from Darlene, Beatriz and Rosana before being beaten by Raquel Fernandes in the 84th minute.

Elsewhere, in Ottawa, South Korea edged a 2-1 win over Spain to snatch second place in the group; Spanish goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu allowing a Kim Soo-yun cross to loop over her head in the 78th minute to give the side from Asia the lead. The win means South Korea progress to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time.

Stand out performances

Costa Rica’s Dinnia Diaz was exceptional against Brazil, making a series of crucial saves to keep the score line from blowing out in the early stages of the match. The goalkeeper was unfortunate to concede – and for Costa Rica to be knocked out of the tournament – after spending much of the match denying what seemed to be natural order as Brazil rolled forward in attack. Saves from a Beatriz shot – and a Rosana flick from the subsequent corner – were the highlight of an impressive performance.

Talking Points

“We’ll play 100% in getting out of the group stage,” said Brazilian coach Vadao before the match against Costa Rica, allaying fears that the already-qualified Brazilians would be taking their final group match easy.

They sort of did, in the end – Vadao rested Marta, Cristiane and Formiga – but Brazil still largely dominated the Costa Ricans and were ultimately deserving of their win. The crowd might’ve enjoyed Brazil’s victory but were unhappy at the absence of their star players, chanting “We want Marta!” during the halftime break. Marta, for her part, seemed happy enough as an unused substitute.

What it means

It means that Brazil finish first in the group – tell us something we didn’t already know, right? – with all nine points from nine while South Korea finish four behind them in second. Had Costa Rica scored a late equaliser they would have drawn lots with Sweden for a place in the round of sixteen – WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING – but instead they head home with Spain, though presumably on separate planes.

Needs Work

Brazil will be fairly pleased with the way that the group stage has panned out, especially so having rested key players for the final game and still earned three points. They will, if anything, be disappointed that they only scored once against Costa Rica but can blame wastefulness and a remarkable goalkeeping performance from Dinnia Diaz equally.

South Korea will head into their next match as rank outsiders against the French and will need to tighten up in defence if they hope to stand any chance of progressing through to the quarterfinals after conceding five goals in their three group matches, the most of any first or second-placed side across all groups.

What next

Brazil face Australia in the round of sixteen after the Matildas finished second to the United States in Group D and will be reasonably confident of progressing through to a quarterfinal against Japan or the Netherlands. These sides last faced each other in the group stage of the 2011 World Cup, Brazil winning 1-0, and also in the first knockout round of the 2007 tournament, where Australia lost 3-2.

Meanwhile, South Korea will prepare themselves for a meeting with France, winners of Group F after a resounding 5-0 win over Mexico in their final group stage match while Costa Rica and Spain are at the airport looking for the cheapest flights from Montreal to… Costa Rica and Spain.

Goal of the day

Raquel Fernandes’ late goal to finish off the Costa Ricans was the best of the four seen in the final two Group E matches. Receiving the ball a few metres from the centre circle, Andressa curled a first-time pass to Raquel Fernandes on the edge of the box, cutting out three Costa Rican defenders at once. Letting the pass run in front of her, the striker waited until the ball dropped to the ground before swiping a right foot across a shot which squeezed past Diaz and into the bottom corner.

Miss of the day

Not a “miss of the day” in the conventional sense but Spanish goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu’s flap at Kim Soo-yun’s cross to gift South Korea a 2-1 lead surely qualifies. There’s a point, as the ball sails towards her from the sideline, that the goalkeeper realises she’s about to concede a very embarrassing goal but by then it’s too late and she concedes a very embarrassing goal, throwing a limp wrist skywards while the ball settles in the back of the net. It can’t be a nice way to go out of a World Cup – but then is there such a thing?

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required