WWCup Germany Colombia Soccer

Colombia’s Linda Caicedo celebrates after scoring her team’s opening goal Sunday in a 2-1 win over Germany in Sydney, Australia. Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

SYDNEY — Believe the hype. Linda Caicedo is for real. So are Colombia’s chances of going far at the Women’s World Cup.

As for the country’s fans, who gave Sydney Football Stadium the feel of a Colombia home game on Sunday, their passionate support created a jubilant atmosphere that lingered long after a 2-1 win over two-time champion Germany provided one of the tournament’s great upsets.

“This is something historic for us. We’ve been feeling the whole time the backing from the fans from our country,” Colombia assistant coach Angelo Marsiglia said. “Today we were playing as a home team.”

Caicedo produced another moment of magic to put Colombia on course for back-to-back wins in Group H with her opening goal in the 52nd minute. She needed treatment late in regulation but stayed on the field.

Alexandra Popp equalized from the penalty spot in the 89th minute, but Colombia defender Manuela Vanegas headed in a winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Cue wild celebrations from Colombia, and looks of disbelief among the German players.


Caicedo and her teammates certainly have had a dramatic campaign.

The 18-year-old Real Madrid star had a health scare last week when she dropped to the ground during a practice session, holding her chest. Team officials said it was fatigue, and she certainly appeared to be in full flight Sunday for her stunning second-half strike.

A cancer survivor, Caicedo had already scored from distance in a 2-0 win against South Korea on Tuesday. But while that goal involved an error from goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul, this one was all about individual brilliance. Collecting the ball from just inside the area after a corner kick, she worked her way into space by bewildering two German defenders in a fast-stepping move before lashing a shot into the top corner.

“Linda Caicedo is a fantastic player. We knew that before the World Cup,” Germany Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said. “We needed to be very attentive.

“It was a good goal. I have to admit that. But we definitely should be better. We should keep ball.”

While Caicedo has been her country’s inspiration at the tournament, Vanegas’ late strike embodied the wide spread of talent in the team.


She rose to head in substitute Leicy Santos’ corner kick deep into added time, moving Colombia to the top of the group.

“This was a decisive match to qualify for the next round,” Marsiglia said. “This is a great win for the whole country, but the game and tournament still continues.”

Germany, the runner-up at last year’s European Championships, has never failed to advance from the group stage of the World Cup. This was its first loss in a group game since 1995.

Germany is still in good position to advance going into its last group game against South Korea but will likely have to settle for second place, which could set up a round-of-16 match with France.

MOROCCO 1, SOUTH KOREA 0: Morocco made history in multiple ways during its victory over South Korea in Adelaide, Australia.

Defender Nouhaila Benzina became the first player to wear a hijab in a World Cup game at the senior level, and her teammate, Ibtissam Jraïdi, scored the team’s first-ever World Cup goal. The Moroccans took the lead in the sixth minute and were able to make it stand up for the remainder of the match.


After a lopsided 6-0 loss against Germany, the victory keeps No. 72-ranked Morocco in contention to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.

SWITZERLAND 0, NEW ZEALAND 0: New Zealand outshot Switzerland and even moved goalkeeper Victoria Esson into an attack position several times but failed to break through in a 0-0 tie in Dunedin, New Zealand, as it became the first host nation to be eliminated in group play in tournament history.

Despite being outshot 12-3, Switzerland won Group A with an unbeaten record – a win and two draws. New Zealand and Norway both finished with four points, but Norway took second place on goal differential.

NORWAY 6, PHILIPPINES 0: Sophie Roman Haug’s hat trick kick-started Norway’s dormant offense and sparked a blowout win in Auckland, New Zealand, that moved the Norwegians into to the knockout stage.

Roman Haug one-timed a ball into the net in the sixth minute and scored again 11 minutes later. Caroline Graham Hansen added a long-distance shot in the 31st minute. In the second half, an own goal in the 48th minute and Guro Reiten’s penalty kick in the 53rd extended Norway’s lead to 5-0. Roman Haug completed her hat trick in added time.



AUSTRALIA: Sam Kerr is set to return for Australia, just in time for a must-win match against Canada. If the Matildas lose Monday, the tournament co-hosts will be eliminated.

That was barely even a consideration ahead of this World Cup, with Kerr expected to take Australia deep into the tournament for perhaps a shot at the championship. But the star striker missed the home team’s first two matches because of a calf injury.

She announced ahead of Monday’s match in Melbourne that she will play against Canada, the 2021 Olympic gold medalists. A win would put Australia in the knockout round for the fifth consecutive time. After a shocking 3-2 loss to Nigeria, Australia is third in Group B, behind Nigeria and Canada.

Kerr is Australia’s all-time leading scorer, with 63 goals in 121 games.

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