FIFA Women’s World Cup: Bonansea fires Italy to last-gasp comeback win


Barbara Bonansea, Italy celebrate

VALENCIENNES, June 9: Barbara Bonansea fired Italy to a remarkable comeback win over Australia after her brace, including a stoppage time winner, claimed a 2-1 Group C victory on Sunday.
Juventus’ Bonansea pounced on a dreadful first touch from Clare Polkinghorne to race through and level for the Italians 11 minutes after the break after hotshot striker Sam Kerr had rammed home the opener for the Matildas on the rebound from her own 22nd-minute penalty.
Daniela Sabatino thought she had won it for Italy with nine minutes remaining when she finished well after hitting the post, only for her goal to be ruled out for offside.
But Bonansea scored from a free-kick five minutes into added time to see the Italians home on their return to the World Cup after a 20-year absence.
The three points puts Italy at the top of the group ahead of Brazil’s clash with Jamaica later on Sunday.
England also open their World Cup campaign with a Group D derby against Scotland in the day’s late game.
Cristiane scores hat-trick as Brazil sink Jamaica for perfect start
Brazil’s Cristiane scored a hat-trick as the former finalists sealed a superb 3-0 victory over women’s World Cup debutants Jamaica on Sunday to kick off their campaign in style.
Victory at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble meant Vadao’s side maintained their perfect record in World Cup openers and also snapped a run of nine straight defeats in the lead-up to the tournament since a 2-1 win over Japan last July.
Cristiane, starting in place of fellow forward Marta who was ruled out of the game with a thigh problem, gave Brazil the lead in the 15th minute by meeting Barcelona midfielder Andressa’s cross from the left with a header past Sydney Schneider.
The South Americans continued to create chances and could have doubled their lead after earning a penalty for handball by Jamaica defender Allyson Swaby, but Schneider saved Andressa’s tame effort on goal seven minutes before the break.
Gwinn fires Germany past China in tight tussle
Defensive midfielder Giulia Gwinn scored the only goal on Saturday as Germany opened their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over China in Group B.
On a sunny but breezy early summer’s day perfect for football, in front of a noisy crowd of 15,283 in Rennes, Germany, twice winners of this competition, dominated possession and territory.
Yet, in a game of slick passing mixed with robust challenges, their goal twice survived narrow escapes.
Germany, traditionally one of international football’s dominant teams regardless of gender, started with menace.
In the first minute, Dzsenifer Marozsan lobbed a pass over the Chinese backline to Alexandra Popp, who drove the ball across the box. As Svenja Huth flexed her neck muscles and lined up a header, goalie Peng Shimeng flew out to deflect the ball with her clawing fingertips.
Within seconds, Sara Daebritz drove a low shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area. Later, Svenja Huth shot just over from a similar spot. It was the position from which Gwinn scored the second-half winner.
The Germans dominated first-half possession, creating a string of half openings only to be frustrated by dogged Chinese tackling and shot-blocking. (AFP)