Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arsenal Women at the World Cup: Foord and Hurtig fire their countries through as England and Netherlands also into quarter-finals

After a bad first day for Arsenal players in the Round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup, days two and three of the knockout rounds have been far kinder to the Gunners.

In the early match on Sunday morning, Victoria Pelova was again part of the Netherlands side who defeated South Africa 2-0 to set up a quarter-final tie with Spain. The real drama came later on however, as Arsenal’s trio of Swedes were centre stage for arguably the most dramatic match of the competition so far.

Stina Blackstenius and Amanda Ilestedt started for Sweden against defending champions USA, with Lina Hurtig a late second half substitute. The game finished 0-0 with penalties required to separate the teams. It was Sweden who went through after an agonising VAR delay. Lina Hurtig took the decisive spot kick which needed VAR to decipher that her kick had crossed the line by about one millimetre. Sweden play Japan in the quarter-finals.

On Monday, Alessia Russo led the line for England with Lotte Wubben-Moy an unused sub against Nigeria. This match also went all the way to penalties as England were handicapped by a second half red card for Lauren James. But England prevailed on spot-kicks and will meet the winner of Colombia v Jamaica in the quarters on Saturday.

Finally, hosts Australia dispatched Denmark 2-0 with Steph Catley captaining the side. Caitlin Foord played and opened the scoring in that game before Hayley Raso added a second. Kathrine Kuhl played 78 minutes for Denmark but she will now be coming home.

Meanwhile, Russo, Wubben-Moy, Foord, Catley, Pelova, Blackstenius, Hurtig and Ilestedt march onto the quarter-finals which will be played on Friday and Saturday.

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Man Manny

Pretty proud of the Nigerian girls: they gave a good account of themselves. I was expecting a roasting, China-esque, but it never happened. England is heaving a huge collective sigh of relief after getting out of Nigerian jail.

Fun Gunner

They were fantastically organised and disciplined. Showed some nice skills in the second half as well. Just a shame for them that they couldn’t seem to score.

MartynJ

Switching to a back 3 makes for a more solid, if still far from perfect, defence, but the absence of Williamson is clear when it comes to moving the ball forward. Carter v limited, Bright predictable (hoof it short or hoof it long). The link-up with Walsh from the Euros seems to have been replaced by a get-it-to-James mentality, no matter where she is or how closely marked. Ironic that England looked more cohesive once she’d gone. Felt sorry for Russo – poor service, lack of support. Wonder if we’ll see a back 4 in the next game (Bright/Greenwood as… Read more »

Collibosher

You know, I wonder whether Lotte Wubben-Moy should play as a defensive midfield. She’s calm on the ball and is a good passer. Not quite as good a passer as Leah Williamson, but I think she would be an asset.

Fun Gunner

I don’t think that’s a strength of hers at this level, and with Stanway and Walsh, England already have a great double pivot. But I sympathise with the wish to see LWM get some minutes. I feel for her, always on the subs bench.

Fun Gunner

Agree with much of that – the formation is good but there is still a Leah Williamson shaped hole in the squad. Bright is good on the ball and I really like Alex Greenwood, but LW can do what they both can and do it better (except for heading, I concede that Bright is a better header of the ball). We see the limitations of the squad and the formation when they come up against a really good side – which Nigeria were. Apart from being hopeless at converting chances! And we miss Beth Mead’s energy and creativity, too. I… Read more »

verstellung

Lauren James should be out of the tournament. Disgraceful.

MartynJ

Also if the next game is close, can’t see the opposition being keen to let it go to penalties.

Fun Gunner

Stina and Alessia had the same problem – no service. They both worked their socks off.

Fun Gunner

And Caitln and Steph were awesome yet again for Australia.

Rob

The Matildas are more enjoyable to watch than the Socceroos.
Source: An Australian

Foord was awesome!!

Gunner H

I was especially impressed by KK for Denmark, though the Danes didn’t have enough “quality” in their side to overcome the home team 🙂 She deserves FAR more playing time for Arsenal in the coming season.

Fun Gunner

She’s so strong technically. Lacks a little intensity and she doesn’t look like a natural goalscorer, but now I see why we recruited her and why she is viewed as an 8 rather than a 10. (Took me long enough…) 19 years old. What a future she has.

Goonersince55

Ashleigh Plumptre is a free agent, is left-footed and can play at CB or FB. Given that we need cover in that area, I think she’d be a good bet.

Fun Gunner

Having a sleepless night and I popped in to say that very thing!
Knows the WSL, 25 years old, has something to prove.

verstellung

I have been quite impressed with Ilestedt, goals aside.

She looks quite solid at CB

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