Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:00 am
Women's world cup
England advances to 2nd round
LE HAVRE, France – As roommates at the Women's World Cup, Jodie Taylor and Beth Mead have built a connection that helped lead England into the second round of the tournament.
Mead delivered a low cross from the left flank, and Taylor sneaked into a central location, nudging the ball into the net to earn a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Friday and secure England's place in the second round with a game to spare in Group D.
“I just knew where Beth was going to play it,” Taylor said. “It must be roommates becoming more connected. It was such a good ball from Beth. I do believe the closer you are as a team the better your performance will be on the pitch.”
Argentina had frustrated England for 61 minutes, and goalkeeper Vanina Correa was nearly flawless – she even stopped a penalty kick – until Taylor and Mead connected on the game-winning goal.
Taylor's goal ended a 540-day scoring drought that had stymied the Golden Boot winner from the 2017 European Championship.
“It's not until people start bringing it up that you start thinking about it,” said Taylor, who plays in the U.S. for the Seattle Reign.
England had to be patient against the resilient Argentines, who collected their first ever World Cup point in an opening draw against Japan. Finding a way past Correa wasn't easy.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper was coaxed back into competition after giving birth to twins in 2017, and her appearance in this tournament makes Correa the only Argentine woman to appear in three World Cups.
“Generally, for women goalkeepers, things are changing, we're having better training,” she said. “It's not nice to criticize goalkeepers even if we do sometimes make mistakes.”
JAPAN 2, SCOTLAND 1: In Rennes, France, Mana Iwabuchi scored an early goal, and then Japan held off a late charge from Scotland.
Iwabuchi, who was on the Japanese team that won the World Cup in 2011, scored in the 23rd minute to give Japan its first goal of the tournament. Yuika Sugasawa converted a penalty in the 37th minute to pad the lead going into the break.
Lana Clelland's left-footed shot went into the top right corner of the net in the 87th minute as Scotland furiously worked to break through Japan's defense.
Japan played to a scoreless draw against Argentina in its opener and needed the confidence boost win with Wednesday's final group match against England looming.
Scotland has now dropped both of its matches so far in France, after opening with a 2-1 loss to England.
ITALY 5, JAMAICA 0: In Reims, France, Cristiana Girelli scored a hat trick to put Italy into the second round.
It was Italy's second hat trick at the World Cup, as Girelli joined Carolina Morace, who did it at the inaugural 1991 tournament. Girelli's three goals were the third hat trick so far this World Cup.
Italy upset Australia 2-1 in its opening Group C match with a goal in stoppage time. It positioned the squad to advance out of the group stage with a victory over Jamaica.
Girelli's first goal was on a penalty kick she got two chances at making. Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider saved Girelli's low penalty shot to the right post, but video review determined Schneider came off her line too soon.
Girelli scored on her second attempt to get Italy rolling.
Aurora Galli came in as a substitute for Italy and scored twice.