FIFA Women’s World Cup: Week One Highlights

Long range efforts, touches of flair, key saves and one or two hard tackles kept fans entertained at Australia & New Zealand 2023

Women’s football is growing faster and faster, and there was a lot of excitement ahead of this new World Cup tournament. The first week didn’t disappoint, with plenty to talk about and a lot of highlights. So, let’s take a look at the best moments so far.

Jogo bonito

It’s not really a World Cup without Brazil, and the Verdeamarelha showed why in their debut against Panama. A terrific team goal that included not one but two backheels for good measure before striker Bia Zaneratto scored the second as part of a four-nil goal-fest for the Brazilians.

Bend it like McCabe

Conventional wisdom dictates that you’re supposed to put a cross in from a corner kick, but nobody told Ireland’s Katie McCabe. The left-back who plays for Arsenal FC in the Women’s Super League hit it with such swerve that the ball ended in the back of Canadian goalie Kailen Sheridan’s net.

Brosnan is flying

It was an action-packed game between Ireland and Canada, and there could’ve been more goals if not for the efforts of Irish goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, who saved a great shot by striker Jordyn Huitema. It wouldn’t be enough, however, with Canada’s 2-1 win dictating Ireland’s early exit from the tournament

Portuguese teamwork for the win

Portugal needed a win to keep their chances alive after their debut loss to the Netherlands and managed it against Vietnam thanks to team efforts like this one. A great passing combination for Telma Encarnação to put it into an empty goal.

Nnadozie denies the hosts

Hosts Australia had won in the inaugural game against Norway, so a win in their second game versus Nigeria could have put them through to the Round of 16. However, Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie had other plans.

Ohale puts her body on the line

They say you have to give it your all to represent your country in a World Cup, and Nigeria’s Osinachi Ohale certainly put herself on the line when she went in to push the Super Falcons’ second goal over the line. The match would end up becoming a five-goal thriller, with the African team beating the hosts 3-2.

Banini shows off the Argentina style

Argentina had to claw their way back into their second game of the tournament after falling two goals behind against South Africa. However, one who didn’t lose her calm over the tense match was Estefanía Banini, who gifted the Albiceleste fans this nutmeg before getting fouled.

Braun’s rocket from long range

They say it’s always darkest before dawn and it certainly was for Argentina. The Albiceleste looked very much out of the tournament before fighting its way back into their game against South Africa. It all started with this thunderous strike by midfielder Sophia Braun, who spurred the team back to life, ending in a 2-2 draw.

Zhang Rui’s horror tackle

It hasn’t been all flowers and sunshine in the World Cup. Most games are heavily contested, as shown by China’s Zhang Rui’s harsh tackle of Haitian midfielder Sherly Jeudy. Amazingly, the referee didn’t even send her off before she received a VAR call informing her of the severity of the tackle.

Stanway to heaven

Still, this World Cup has shown how much talent and flair exists in the Women’s game, and there are few better exponents of this than England’s Georgia Stanway, who pulled off this incredible trick to lose the defender in the Lionesses’ narrow one-nil win against Denmark.


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