World Cup 2023 - Wins for Sweden, Netherlands as France struggles to shrug off Caribbean minnows
European powers Sweden and Netherlands recorded narrow wins as world number five France falters against Caribbean minnows, Jamaica.
World number three Sweden left it late to secure their Group G win over South Africa in Wellington to kick-off Matchday Four.
In a tight first half which saw chances at both ends, it took until the 48th minute for South Africa to break the deadlock.
The African Champions stunned their Swedish opponents when Hildah Migaia bundled the ball into the net following a shot from Thembi Kgatlana which the Sweden keeper failed to deal with.
The celebrations wouldn’t last for South Africa as Sweden worked themselves back into the match when a ricochet off Swedish striker Fridolina Rolfo to square up the ledger.
Sweden completed the comeback as defender Amanda Iledstadt rose above the pack to head home in the 90th minute.
A 12th minute header by Stefanie Van der Gragt was enough to secure Netherlands 1-nil win over Portugal.
The win sees the 2019 Runner’s up now join the USA as the undefeated sides in Group E.
In the late kick-off, Caribbean minnows Jamaica secured their first ever World Cup point as they held France to a 0-0 draw at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Despite France’s domination which included double the amount of shots on goal, Le Bleu were unable to break down the brave Jamaicans.
Jamaica will head into their next clash with Panama in Perth next week without star Khadija Shaw who was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on French defender Wendie Renard.
Match Day 5 will see Italy take on Argentina in Auckland.
Italian manager Milena Bertollini will be relying on key-forward Cristiana Girelli as well as midfielder Manuela Giugliani to ensure Le Azzurre can get off to the perfect start.
For Argentina all eyes will be on Atletico Madrid forward Estefania Banini who will lead the line alongside Yamila Rodriguez.
In the afternoon kick-off, contenders Germany will clash with African side Morocco.
Two-time World Champions Germany will look to veteran Alex Popp to turn around their fortunes from 2019 which saw them exit in the Quarter Finals.
In the late fixture of Match Day 5, Brazil will clash with Panama in Adelaide.
Brazil have never won a FIFA Women’s World Cup despite qualifying for all nine editions of the tournament. The South American Champions will be hoping for a winning start in what looks to be a favourable opening fixture.