Joy for Brazil and England, but France shocked

MONTREAL: Brazil became the second team to qualify for the knockout round of the women’s World Cup on Saturday and England picked up a big win, but France suffered a shock defeat that could make their life at the tournament tougher.


Brazil joined defending champions Japan in the next stage with six points after a grim 1-0 win over Spain in a Montreal Group ‘E’ game, striker Alessandro Alves tapping home in the 44th minute after a defensive error.

“We didn’t score big but we won the game. It’s good for us to know we’re in the next round,” said Brazil coach Vadao whose side are top of their group with six points from two games.

Costa Rica are second in Group ‘E’ with two points after snatching a 2-2 draw with South Korea, and next play Brazil on Wednesday. Spain and South Korea both have one point.

France fell 2-0 to Colombia in the first upset of the tournament with that defeat throwing Group ‘F’ wide open as rivals England rekindled their campaign with a 2-1 win over Mexico.

Lady Andrade beat the offside trap to score in the 19th minute and Catalina Usme took advantage of a bad goalkeeper error in second-half stoppage time to give the South Americans the win in Moncton.

Third-ranked France had been bidding to seal their last 16 berth after a 1-0 win over England, but must now wait until the final game in a tight Group ‘F’.

Colombia, ranked 28, moved top with four points from two games, with France on three along with England who beat Mexico with two second-half goals from midfielder Fran Kirby and Karen Carney.

The four best third-placed teams in the six groups will also qualify for the knockout round, which means four points could be enough.

This sets up a potentially thrilling final round of games in Group ‘F’, where England meet Colombia while France play Mexico, who have one point but could advance with a win.