There were wins for the favourites on the third day of the FIFA Women’s World Cup as world No1 USA beat North Korea, while Sweden got past Colombia. However, once again the theme of the day was the closeness of competition. Five of the six games have been decided by only one goal, the USA the only team to win by two goals.
The two-time defending champions USA had to fight hard for is opening victory against an unknown North Korea side. One thing that North Korea did possess was incredible fitness and they ran down every ball in the first half despite the 32-degree C (90-degree F) heat.
But finally in the 54th minute the U.S> finally broke through the Korean defences when Abby Wambach swept past a defender on the left and floated a cross into the center where Lauren Cheney wrongfooted goalie Hong Myong-hui for the opener.
As the half wore on, the North Koreans finally started to tire and and in the 76th minute the USA doubled their advantage when Rachel Buehler’s low shot crept just inside the post and beyond the outstretched arm of Hong.
Much like the Americans, the Swedes had the best of play against Colombia and should have won by a bigger margin. Jessica Landstrom, the player of the match, scored from close range in the 57th minute, turning home a cross from Lotta Schelin on the right wing.
Columbia were involved in the first scandal of the World Cup when it’s backup goalkeeper Yineth Varon failed an initial drug test and was provisionally suspended.