FIFA WWC Match Day Five - European giants flex muscles, Seleção signals intent

Keep up to date with Edge of the Crowd's coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as some dominant performances highlighted an action-packed Day Five for the FIFA Women's World Cup. How did it all unfold? Read on to find out.

Catch up on our previous wrap up here:

Italy v Argentina

In a physical affair, both Italy and Argentina were looking to get their campaign off to a strong start. There were six yellow cards handed out, meaning that plenty of players, including Barbara Bonansea and Florencia Bonsegundo will be on watch for the rest of the group stages.

Italy started to seize control in the second half, as Bonansea wreaked havoc in the forward half, pressing towards the penalty area. She and Bonsegundo traded attacking raids, but neither was able to find a way through.

As the match wound towards its close, it was a substitute for Italy who found a spark. Cristiana Girelli, who was substituted on in the 83rd minute, found herself in position to head through the winner in the 87th minute. Despite everything that Argentina threw at the Italians in the final minutes, they couldn't find an equaliser.

It leaves Italy in a strong position, but Argentina will draw plenty from the match, as they showed that they can compete with the European giants.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: BARBARA BONANSEA (ITA). Bonansea was a constant thorn in the side of the Argentinian defence, probing and threatening for the full duration of the match, Even though she wasn't the goalscorer, her pressure contributed to the moment.

Germany v Morocco

This match was one where the gulf in experience and class was fully on show, as the World Cup debutants went up against the two-time World Cup winners. For the first time in this tournament, that gap was on show, and was exploited.

Alexandra Popp was first on the board, netting her first goal of the tournament in the 11th minute. She added another before the break, to double the advantage.

It was the second half that was the undoing of the Moroccans, as Klara Buhl struck immediately after the break to start the half off on the right foot, before things went from bad to worse. Two own goals from Morocco compounded their woes, as the lead stretched to five, before Lea Schuller added the exclamation point in the 90th minute.

It was an emphatic performance by the Germans, who controlled 75% of possession and had 44 final third entries, compared to just 11 for the World Cup debutants.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: ALEXANDRA POPP (DEU). Popp managed a double, and set the Germans up on the right path for them to finish the match by blowing away Morocco.

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Brazil v Panama

Brazil sent a shot across the bow of the rest of the competition with a dominant performance against Women’s World Cup debutants Panama at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. Try as they might, the Panamanians could not stop the Brazillian juggernaut as they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat.

The Seleção had the South Australian crowd rocking as they bombarded the Panamanian goal, and it took a shade under twenty minutes for 23-year-old Racing Louisville striker, Ary Borges to net the first goal of the game.

Twenty minutes later she would double the tally for both her and the team. The halftime whistle blew with the score 2-0 and Brazil looking ominous.

The best was yet to come as the Brazilians scored a masterpiece of a goal early in the second half as Bia Zaneratto finished up a sublime passing move with a deft touch to give Brazil a 3-0 lead.

The match remained one-way traffic as Ary Borges completed her hattrick in the 70th minute, giving Brazil full control of Group F. The legendary Marta came off the bench in the 75th minute and had a couple of shots on goal, including a free kick right at the death that had everyone holding their breath, but the icon couldn’t add to the score. Not that it mattered as Brazil chalked up a 4-0 victory to open their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.

Next up for Brazil is France on Saturday night in Brisbane, whilst Panama continues their hunt for their first World Cup finals points in Perth on the same day when they take on Jamaica.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: ARY BORGES (BRA).A hat trick in your debut Women’s World Cup fixture has to get you the player of the match award, right?

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