It was a high scoring affair overnight at the Women’s World Cup as both Germany and Brazil moved atop their group tables with dominating wins. A collective 10 goals were scored between the winning sides as they held opponents scoreless.
It was a tougher task for Italy and Argentina in their match, but Italy’s veteran captain powered one in late for the winning score.
Ary Borges scored a hat trick in her World Cup debut, becoming the first Brazilian player to do so. Her first two goals gave Brazil an early 2-0 lead that felt more than secure and a third came late in the match. Brazil is the only nation to win all eight opening matches in the World Cup and added a ninth with the 4-0 victory against Panama, which made its debut.
It was only a matter of time before Brazil broke it open against an overmatched Panama side.
It put a shot on goal in the first minute and proceeded to pepper in shots, including a header a little high by Debinha. In the 18th minute, her free kick careened too far left, but when Brazil won back possession, she had room to streak down the left side and cross one to Borges at the other post. Borges took her time behind the defense to head it in, sending Brazil off to the top of the table one match into the tournament.
It was her first World Cup goal, and she collapsed with her face in her hands on the ground for a short while in relief. Borges added a second in the 39th minute, tapping in a rebound off her own header. Tamires made the cross.
Borges gave up the chance at a hat trick two minutes into the second when she took a cross from Debinha again. Instead of a shot, she pushed it back to Bia Zaneratto, who scored with a strike at the top of the net.
She earned her hat trick 20 minutes of play later on another header that went between the legs of Panama keeper Yenith Bailey.
Marta came on for Borges in the 75th minute. It’s Marta’s sixth World Cup and she’s scored in each one she’s played in dating back to 2003, when she was 17. Her 17 goals are the most World Cup goals by any man or woman.
Brazil moves atop Group F with three points and will next play France. Panama will play Jamaica. France, one of the favorites to win the title behind the U.S., and Jamaica played to a draw for one point each.
Germany captain and veteran star Alexandra Popp scored a brace to lead the win over Morocco, which became the first North African and majority Arab nation to play in a Women’s World Cup.
Popp headed in the first goal from the middle in the 11th minute and added a second in the 39th minute. It blew open the finishing opportunities for Germany. Klara Buehl added a goal 23 seconds out of the half and Germany scored a fourth goal in the 54th minute. Morocco couldn’t clear a corner and the ball eventually went off Hanane Ait El Haj for an own goal.
A similar issue happened in the 79th minute on an own goal off a Sara Dabritz corner, and Lea Schueller scored in the 90th minute when Lena Lattwein’s shot came back into play off the keeper.
The six goals are the most of the tournament so far. Columbia and South Korea will face off in Group H as the final teams to open their tournament schedule.
Germany, ranked No. 2 in the world behind the United States, won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and is looking to build off a 2019 quarterfinal appearance. The Germans will next play Columbia.
Morocco appeared to score while down 3-0, but it was called offsides. It had five attempts on goal, and three on target. The World Cup first-timers will next face South Korea.
Italy 1, Argentina 0
Cristiana Girelli headed in the winning goal in the 87th minute, becoming the heroine for Italy in a tough and tight match.
The veteran came on in the 83rd minute and finished a cross with a leaping header to give Italy the winning goal. Afterward, she compared it to her hat trick against Jamaica in 2019.
“I think today tops it,” she said. “The hat-trick was very special, of course, but this is an even better feeling. It was more important. We needed it. I’m very, very happy.”
Girelli, 33, is the oldest player on the squad, which started 16-year-old Giulia Dragoni. The teenager is the youngest player to represent Italy and the second-youngest from Europe, per FIFA.
Italy and Argentina were nearly deadlocked in attempts on goal and on target.
Italy was a quarterfinalist in 2019 and moves up into a tie with Sweden at the top of Group G with three points apiece.