PLAY OF THE DAY
Ange N'Guessan's fabulous strike for Ivory Coast was almost good to be the mere consolation goal it turned out to be.
MATCHDAY IN SUMMARY
Thailand 0 Germany 4: Thailand did well to keep Germany pegged back for so long, mostly courtesy of their excellent goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing, but Lena Petermann's first and second international goals in the space of a couple of minutes broke them down, and Sara Daebritz's tap-in added insult to injury. The win secured their place at the top of Group D – and they've never yet failed to make the knock-out rounds at a World Cup.
Cote D'Ivoire 1 Norway 3: Ada Hegerberg's neatly taken early goal separated the sides at half-time, but Cote D'Ivoire were resilient in the face of Norway's slick and physical approach. Then Hegerberg got her second with an absolutely fizzing shot after a solo run, and Solveig Gulbrandsen added the third, unmarked at the far post, with a firm header. Ange Nguessan got one back with her fantastic strike, but it was too little too late.
Canada 1 Netherlands 1: Ashley Lawrence got the hosts up and running with her first-ever international goal, a powerful blast from inside the area – but Kirsten van de Ven grabbed a deserved equaliser with three minutes to go, lashing into the roof of the net.
China 2 New Zealand 2: Another controversial refereeing decision as China equalised with a penalty, given for a dubious handball, courtesy of Wang Lisi after Rebekah Stott had put the Ferns ahead. Wang Shanshan gave China the advantage, but Hannah Wilkinson pulled New Zealand level once more with a volley in the middle of the box. It wasn't enough for the Ferns to qualify for the knock-out stages, though – they finish bottom of the group.
The world was rather taken aback, to say the least, with these comments from Marco Aurelio Cunha, Brazil's women's football co-ordinator. (Yep, the person in charge of promoting the game spearheaded in their country by Marta. MARTA, for goodness' sake, possibly the greatest player the women's game has ever seen.)
Now the women are getting more beautiful, putting on make-up. They go in the field in an elegant manner. Women’s football used to copy men’s football. Even the jersey model, it was more masculine. We used to dress the girls as boys. So the team lacked a spirit of elegance, femininity. Now the shorts are a bit shorter, the hair styles are more done up. It’s not a woman dressed as a man.
Well, with friends like that, who needs enemies? No wonder the game hasn't been thriving there – and no wonder Marta made the shift away from domestic football in Brazil as soon as she could.
It's almost as if we're back to a decade ago, when a man mused: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts.”
Of course, that man was the self-proclaimed Godfather of Women's Football Sepp Blatter...
TWEET OF THE DAY
Can't look any further than USA v Nigeria for Tuesday's must-see game as the Group of Death comes to a close. Can Nigeria pull off one of the shocks of the tournament and get a result against the former champions?