2019 Women’s World Cup: Group C Preview

26 May

Am I allowed to have a favourite group? ‘Coz this is it. There are so many different styles of football happening here I dare you to not be entertained. The Matildas, the Reggae Girlz, the Seleção, and the Azzurre. The conceptual style and strength combinations are insane to consider. I’ve got goosebumps imagining how it’ll play out on the pitch.

Performance Record

Country FIFA Rank Last 10 Matches WWC Record
Australia 6 DWLDLWWWWL 5W 5D 12L
Brazil 10 WLLLLLLLLL 18W 4D 8L
Italy 15 WLWWWWWLDW 3W 1D 3L
Jamaica 53 WLWWLWLWWD debut

General Thoughts

Brazil, Brazil, Brazil. How you frustrate me so. The glory days of the Seleção are long behind them having peaked internationally during 2007-08. Sure, they’ve continued their reign in the Americas but beyond that the trophies have been few and far between despite overflowing with talent. Maybe things will change in France, as the team continues to regroup following the big political shakeups and protest retirements of 2017 which seemingly came out of nowhere but not really.

A few of those retiring players, including my fave Cristiane, are returning to the national team. Coupled them with current (and 6x) FIFA Best Women’s Player Marta and I cannot help but once again hope for a podium finish here despite being my being crushed time and time again.

Speaking of frustrating but from a different angle, welcome to Italy fandom. The Azzurre are returning to the Women’s World Cup after 20 years. 20 years! Then they were led by forward Patrizia “The Scorpion” Panico and this time around forward Barbara Bonansea will be looked at to lead the way. Bonansea is coming off a domestic treble season with Juventus which can only help rally fans to back the team and players after a disappointing run at the 2017 Euros.

For a little additional history, Italy was grouped with Brazil back in 1999 and lost 0-2. How incredible would it be if the Azzurre could flip this around in France?

(Trivia time – Which Brazilian played in the 1999 Women’s World Cup and has been called up to play in France?)

Jamaica, on the other hand, have no issues rallying their fans. They are the first Caribbean country to qualify for a Women’s World Cup and you can bet the entire Caribbean is onboard to cheer them through. Their third place finish at the 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup was a shocker, an incredibly enjoyable shocker. They have nothing to lose in France and almost everything to gain.

Australia is a bit of a puzzle. They just won the inaugural Cup of Nations tournament, after finishing second in the 2018 Tournament of Nations which they won in 2017, and finishing second to Japan in the 2018 AFC Asian Cup. Their captain Sam Kerr has racked up individual accolades and trophies the past three years like a kid in a candy store for the first time.

But … they have an interim coach in Ante Milicic who arrived in February after Alen Stajcic was sacked and who is set to leave in July after the Women’s World Cup. Will he have enough authority to drive the team to glory in France? Or, given that not all players were on board with Stajcic leaving, will they be leaning on winning fumes from the past to push them through?

Schedule

Date & Time Match Location
June 9 13:00 CEST (07:00 EST) Australia vs Italy Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
June 9 15:30 CEST (09:30 EST) Brazil vs Jamaica Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
June 13 18:00 CEST (12:00 EST) Australia vs Brazil Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
June 14 18:00 CEST (12:00 EST) Jamaica vs Italy Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
June 18 21:00 CEST (15:00 EST) Jamaica vs Australia Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
June 18 21:00 CEST (15:00 EST) Italy vs Brazil Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes

– Teri

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