By 90Min
June 14, 2019

With the second round of Women's World Cup fixtures now well underway, we're starting to get a feel for who the favourites are to lift the trophy in France, and who will be heading out before they get started. 

There were just the two matches on match-day seven, but Australia vs Brazil and South Africa vs China gave us plenty to talk about, so without further ado, let's dive in and have a look at Thursday's matches.


Australia 3-2 Brazil

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Having surprisingly lost to Italy in their opening match, Australia's previously optimistic hopes of a run deep into the tournament were looking gloomy - especially when they trailed 2-0 to a side who hadn't lost in the group stages of a World Cup for 24 years.

A penalty from the legendary Marta and a further strike from Cristiane - already her fourth of the tournament - had the Brazilians looking in charge and the Matildas staring down the barrel of elimination, but Caitlin Foord was on hand to poke one in on the stroke of half-time and give the Aussies hope.

In hindsight, it proved to be a massive goal, as it would serve as the catalyst for one of the finest second half displays we're likely to see at the tournament - although there was an element of fortune about each of the goals that followed.

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Shortly after Debinha came close to restoring Brazil's two goal advantage with a terrific solo effort that curled wide of the far post, Chloe Logarzo's cross - ambitiously claimed as a goal by Sam Kerr - evaded everyone, and found its way into the Brazil net to tie things up just before the hour mark.

And then, eight minutes later, VAR came into play. A hopeful ball forward towards the offside Kerr was intercepted by Brazil defender Monica, but her decisive touch sent the ball into the net to complete the comeback. After consulting the technology, the referee ruled that Kerr did not touch the ball, and did not interfere with the play, and although Monica had grounds to disagree on the latter, the comeback was complete. 

Although fortune favoured the Matildas on the day, it was a win their endeavour merited, and group C is wide open as a result.

Italy could take advantage and book their place in the last 16 when they face Jamaica on Friday, with Brazil and Australia - separated only on goal difference - looking to do the same when they play their final games in tandem on Tuesday. 


South Africa 0-1 China

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In the later game, there was just as much - if not more - on the line for the two less established sides in group B. Germany had beaten Spain to all-but qualify for the last 16, leaving South Africa and China vying to go level on points with the Spaniards, to give themselves a fighting chance of advancing beyond the group stages.

While the game was cagey, it was China who looked like the better side throughout, and through Li Ying, they found the one moment of substantial quality to get their first points on the board. 

Latching onto the end of an early cross from the right from Zhang Rui, she was able to steal a yard on Bambanani Mbane, connecting with a sweet left-footed volley that wrong-footed Kaylin Swart and put her side into the lead.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

The second half saw South Africa open up and attempt a revival, with African Player of the Year Thembi Kgatlana only managing to hit the side netting after bursting into the box, but on reflection it was a comfortable victory for China.

South Africa now have to beat Germany in their final game in order to stand any chance of qualification, while China know that a win over Spain will guarantee them second place, although are still likely to qualify as one of the best third-placed sides with a point. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)