WWC 2015: Best and Worst of Match Day 7 – Group C

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

The best and worst of Group C

What Happened

Switzerland and Ecuador got Group C’s sunny Vancouver afternoon underway as both searched for a maiden World Cup goal, point or win. It was the Swiss that came out on top emphatically though, belting the South American outfit to the tune of a 10-1 score line.

While the differences in skill and ability between the two sides were astronomical, Switzerland was helped along by two second-half hat-tricks. Fabienne Humm buried three goals in the space of five minutes just the resumption, which preceded Ramona Bachmann’s treble in the final half hour.

Shortly afterwards the reigning champions Japan took on Cameroon in a tight affair with the former coming up trumps by two goals to one. Japan started brilliantly gaining the two goal buffer by the 17th minute.

They then had to withstand heavy Cameroonian advances with the physical nature of the game appearing to disturb some Japanese charges. But they were able to hold on despite a late goal for the Africans and have guaranteed qualification from the group stage.

Standout Performers

Swiss midfield Fabienne Humm had a day out against the Ecuadorians, belting three goals in a totally dominant performance. What’s most remarkable though was the fact that all of her efforts came within the opening seven minutes of the second half. The two tap-ins were preceded by a wonderful effort from outside the area.

Despite being on the losing side, Cameroon’s Gaëlle Enganamouit can be immensely proud of her performance against the reigning world champions. Time after time she put the Japanese defence to the sword with pace and strength and came extraordinarily close to bagging an equalizer as the clock passed 90 minutes. Her assist in Cameroon’s only goal was a glorious sight to behold as her pass covered almost a third of the pitch.

Talking Points

It’s hard not to want Ecuador to do well in Canada but if honesty comes to the fore, one must realise that its squad is nowhere near the standard required to perform at this level. After two games a goal difference of -15 is bordering on the unbelievable and despite the brave effort in the first half against the Swiss, as soon as the second goal came shoulders dropped and floodgates opened.

All this tournament can be for the Ecuadorian charges is a learning experience. Given that the women’s game is in its infancy in the South American nation, perhaps that’s not such a bad thing after all.

What it Means

For the Swiss, the thrashing should give them enough room to qualify for the finals stage if they can’t get above third in their group but with Japan’s strong showing a showdown for second place with Cameroon looms.

Ecuador needs all its Christmas miracles to come at once if they are to get through the group stage. They need a cricket score against Japan in the final group game to try and squeeze in from third spot but chances are they’ll be on the receiving end of one.

Japan has now guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament which is the absolute minimum expectations for one of the competition’s best teams. Top spot in the group should be all locked up as they take on Ecuador in the final group game.

Finally, Cameroon now take on the Swiss for second sport in Group C, the winner of which will guaranteed at least another game in the tournament. The gargantuan winning margins both teams enjoyed against Ecuador should get them through from third, nonetheless.

Needs Work

It’s hard to say what the Swiss need to work on after their performance because the opposite was so lacklustre. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenberg will probably have some concerns about the poor finishing of the first half but eight second half goals made up for that with change.

Ecuador needs to work on everything. Come back in four years and we’ll see how much you have improved. This tournament is nothing but a learning experience for these trailblazing women.

Japan’s campaign has been relatively untroubled so far however the height and physical strength of the Cameroonians did trouble them slightly in their most recent clash. A few more goals wouldn’t hurt but two wins from two games a happy coach makes.

Finally, Cameroon are looking like a much improved side from the London Olympics campaign and took Japan to the wire in a confidence-boosting performance. If they want success in the group stage they must work on their finishing with far too many shots flying over the bar.

What Next

Japan should decimate Ecuador in the final game of the group to guarantee top spot while Switzerland and Cameroon will battle it out for second spot. The winner of that game will play knockout football, the loser will hope that their record gets them through from third.

Goal of the day

Fabienne Humm managed to get Switzerland’s second half off to the perfect start, scoring a scorcher in the 47th minute. Having collected possession outside the box Humm took a few steps and chipped her shot from 22 yards. The effort cleared the cobwebs out of the top corner after beating the keeper. Within four minutes she had two more, giving her a hat-trick.

Miss of the day

Switzerland’s Eseosa Aigbogun takes out this unwanted prize for her miss in the early exchanges of the clash with Ecuador. Finding herself unmarked and about three feet away from an open goal, the winger managed to hit the near post to deny her side the lead. She made up for it with a goal later in the half.

A special mention goes to Cameroon’s Madeline Ngono for her lacklustre effort, chipping wide from point blank range just before half time.

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