A late stoppage-time ‘theater goal’ helped South Africa beat Italy in dramatic fashion to punch their ticket to the round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand.
South Africa, ranked 54th in the FIFA rankings, came from behind to beat FIFA No. 16 Italy 3-2 in the third match of the tournament’s Group G at Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
After going winless in three matches in the group stage of the 2019 tournament, their first World Cup appearance, South Africa lost to Sweden 1-0 in the first match of Group G, drew 2-2 with Argentina in the second match, and defeated Italy for their first-ever World Cup victory.
In the other Group G match played at the same time, Sweden held off Argentina, while South Africa (4 points) pulled off a double by knocking Italy (3 points) down to third place in Group G and making history by reaching their first round of 16 in dramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, Italy, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament, needed only a draw to advance to the round of 16, but conceded an own goal and then a “theater goal” in second-half stoppage time to crash out of the group.
Italy took the lead in the 11th minute on a penalty kick by Arianna Caruso, but conceded an own goal in the 32nd minute.
Italian defender Benedetta Orsi tried to play a backpass to the goalkeeper in the face of South Africa’s forward pressure, but the signals weren’t right, and by the time the goalkeeper reacted, the ball had already found its way into the corner of the net.
South Africa, who needed to beat Italy to progress from the group stage, pressured Italy heavily throughout the second half to pull off the upset.
In the 22nd minute, South Africa’s Hilda Magaia broke through the defense and finished with a non-stop left-footed shot from the left penalty area.
Italy didn’t go down without a fight.
In the 29th minute, Munjeon Caruso equalized with a header from a corner kick on the left side.
Both teams pounded away at each other’s goal with scoring chances, before South Africa ended the seesaw game in stoppage time with a dramatic goal from Tembi Katlana.
In the other Group G match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, FIFA World No. 3 Sweden defeated FIFA World No. 28 Argentina 2-0.
Sweden, who had already punched their ticket to the round of 16, clinched first place in Group G with three group wins.
Argentina, who hadn’t won a single game in their three previous World Cups, all of which ended in group stage exits, lost 0-1 to Italy in their first group game of the tournament, then drew 2-2 with South Africa in their second, but couldn’t add to their victory against Sweden.
Argentina (1 point) ended their World Cup run early, finishing fourth in Group G.
Sweden took the lead on Rebecca Blomkvist’s goal in the 21st minute from a corner kick, and Elin Rubensson converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute.토토사이트
Sweden advanced to face Group E runner-up USA and South Africa advanced to face Group E leader Netherlands in the round of 16.
The winner of the Sweden-USA match will face the winner of Japan-Norway in the quarterfinals.