Italy suffer shock exit after late South Africa victory

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The group stage of the 2023 Women’s World Cup is almost complete, with just three more quartets needing to wrap up their opening games and discover which nations make the knockouts.

On Wednesday it’s the turn of Argentina to try and force their way through to the last 16 as they face Sweden, while Italy play South Africa also needing a result to progress. Later, Brazil must overcome Jamaica to seal progression from Group F after being beaten by France – who are top and face minnows Panama.

Meanwhile, Lauren James shone again on Tuesday with two stunning goals as England put in their best performance of the Women’s World Cup so far to sweep aside China 6-1 and march into the last 16.

USA only just managed to sneak through with a draw against Portugal, leading to criticism from former stars. Follow all the latest news and match updates below:

World Cup LIVE: Argentina vs Sweden and South Africa vs Italy

  • Lionesses thrash China to secure top spot

  • GOAL! South Africa lead again in injury time

  • GOAL! Italy drew level as Caruso scores from a corner

  • GOAL! South Africa take lead through Magaia in second half

  • GOAL! Bizarre long-range own goal puts South Africa level

  • GOAL! Italy score early penalty against South Africa

  • Argentina must beat Sweden – Sweeden ahead

  • Later, Brazil have to see off Jamaica to sneak a top-two finish

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

10:12 , Ben Fleming

FULL-TIME! SOUTH AFRICA ARE THROUGH!

Well, now the full-time whistle goes and the celebrations begin! The players and staff charge onto the pitch to embrace each other while the Italians haven’t moved. Some on the floor, others standing up – crestfallen in defeat.

But what a performance from South Africa. They went 1-0 down early and were pegged back when they had moved 2-1 ahead but an injury-time winner courtesy of Kgatlana sees them win 3-2, leapfrogging Italy and advancing to the round of 16 at their expense. Remarkable!

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

10:09 , Ben Fleming

A small stoppage after Dhlamini goes down, perhaps winded. Play resumes with a long throw-in for Italy but the South African defence survives. We’re past the allotted 11 minutes of added time but we still they play on…

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

10:04 , Ben Fleming

Five minutes of added time remaining as Italy win a free-kick just inside the South African half. Linari wins the header but there’s not enough power on it to trouble Swart in the South African goal.

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

10:00 , Ben Fleming

Oh my, that was close! Almost straight away, Italy are on the attack and Giacinti fashions a great opportunity with Swart rooted to the spot as the effort just flies wide.

The full-time whistle goes between Sweeden and Argentina – that’s finished 2-0.

South Africa 3-2 Italy

Argentina 0-2 Sweden (FT)

As things stand:

  1. Sweden 9pt

  2. S.Africa 4pts

  3. Italy 3pt

  4. Argentina 1pts

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:58 , Ben Fleming

GOOOAALLLL!!! South Africa have found their goal in the second minute of added time and Italy are heading out once again. What a lovely move which starts down this left-hand side again with Seoposenwe. The ball is played inside to Magaia who evades the challenge of Bartoli superbly, advancing into the box before cutting it back to Kgatlana who makes no mistake from close range!

What a moment for South Africa!

South Africa 3-2 Italy

Argentina 0-2 Sweden

As things stand:

  1. Sweden 9pt

  2. S.Africa 4pts

  3. Italy 3pt

  4. Argentina 1pts

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:54 , Ben Fleming

ELEVEN minutes of added time here between South Africa and Italy. Can the South Africans find a massive winner in the dying moments?

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:52 , Ben Fleming

HUGE CHANCE! That should be game over for Italy. Cantore makes a good burst down the right with South African players pushed up the pitch. She makes the right choice and cuts it back to Girelli but the Italian inexplicably fires straight at the keeper from point-blank range. Could that come back to haunt them?

Over in the other game, Sweeden have taken a 2-0 lead from the spot courtesy of Rubensson.

South Africa 2-2 Italy

Argentina 0-2 Sweden

As things stand:

  1. Sweden 9pts

  2. Italy 4pts

  3. S.Africa 2pts

  4. Argentina 1pt

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:48 , Ben Fleming

We are into the last ten minutes between South Africa and Italy with the game still hanging firmly in the balance. South Africa haven’t quite got going again since that Italian equaliser but only one moment of magic is required. Caruso, who scored both vital Italian goals, makes way for Cantore.

In the other game, Sweeden remain in charge and they are heading for a perfect group-stage record and a last 16 crunch tie with the USA.

South Africa 2-2 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

As things stand:

  1. Sweden 9pts

  2. Italy 4pts

  3. S.Africa 2pts

  4. Argentina 1pt

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:42 , Ben Fleming

ITALY DRAW LEVEL! What a pulsating few minutes and Italy think they are ahead. From a corner, Girelli gets a flick at the near post and Caruso is on hand to further divert it into the net! The Italians celebrate wildly as that goal moves them back ahead of South Africa and into second place…but wait!

A VAR check ensues. It’s unclear what for, perhaps an offside from the initial Girelli flick-on?

GOAL STANDS! We are still not sure what they were checking but Italy won’t care one bit now. They are back ahead of South Africa and into second place.

South Africa 2-2 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

As things stand:

  1. Sweden 9pts

  2. Italy 4pts

  3. S.Africa 2pts

  4. Argentina 1pt

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:37 , Ben Fleming

Almost another goal for South Africa as they continue their pressure. Magaia has far too much space down the left and she clips in an inch-perfect cross towards the six-yard box. The ball finds Kgatlana but Durante stretches to tip wide the header superbly!

South Africa 2-1 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:35 , Ben Fleming

With those two quickfire goals, here is how the group currently looks:

As it stands:

  1. Sweden 9pt

  2. S.Africa 4pts

  3. Italy 3pt

  4. Argentina 1pts

South Africa 2-1 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:33 , Ben Fleming

SOUTH AFRICA AHEAD! More drama in Group G as South Africa take a well-deserved lead after the break. Kgatlana has been at the heart of everything good that South Africa have done going forward this half and she finds Magaia on the left side of the penalty box with a lovely reverse pass. It’s a tidy finish across the keeper and into the far corner and, as things stand, Italy will be going out!

South Africa 2-1 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:30 , Ben Fleming

SWEEDEN AHEAD! The deadlock is finally broken and Sweeden have the lead. It’s a well-worked move down the right and Jakobsson is given far too much space to whip in a cross.

She makes no mistake with her whipped delivery landing perfectly on the head of Blomqvist, who nods home from close range.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-1 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:26 , Ben Fleming

A couple of changes for Sweeden as their top goalscorer Ilestedt is brought off for Sembrant while Hurtig is also introduced, replacing the lively Schough.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:20 , Ben Fleming

A couple of half chances in both games for Argentina and South Africa. Banini lets fly from range, despite players around her, and her effort is comfortably saved in the Sweeden goal.

In the other game, Kgatlana has a good burst down the left but can’t quite force her effort on target from a tight angle.

Just over ten minutes gone in the second half of both these games.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:16 , Ben Fleming

It’s all rather comfortable for Sweeden at the minute and, despite their numerous changes, the group leaders are continuing to control possession. Argentina need to win this game and surely will step up their attacking intent as this half goes on.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

09:10 , Ben Fleming

And we are back underway live in the second half. It remains goalless between Argentina and Sweeden, while an Orsi own goal has South Africa level with Italy.

Sarina Wiegman hails England adaptability after big win over China

09:09 , Karl Matchett

England boss Sarina Wiegman lauded the Lionesses’ adaptability after a system shake-up sparked a thumping 6-1 victory over China at the Women’s World Cup.

The Lionesses had not scored more than once in their opening two matches but came alive on a crisp night in front of 13,497 at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium to seal top spot in Group D.

Wiegman took a gamble as she swapped England’s usual 4-3-3 for a 3-5-2 formation, and she was rewarded with goals from five different players including a brace from Chelsea prodigy Lauren James, who also picked up three assists.

“I think we are growing into this tournament,” said Wiegman, whose side will travel back to their Terrigal, New South Wales base camp before flying to Brisbane to meet Nigeria in the knockout stages.

More from the boss:

Sarina Wiegman hails England adaptability after big win over China

Millie Bright: England’s captain leading Lionesses into last-16 of Women’s World Cup

09:05 , Karl Matchett

With the Lionesses’ Euro 2022-winning captain Leah Williamson forced to miss out on the World Cup through injury, coach Sarina Wiegman has entrusted the responsibility for leading the team to experienced Chelsea centre back Millie Bright.

Bright has been passed fit for England’s match against Haiti after recovering from knee surgery and the defender will lead the Lionesses in their Group D opener.

Now 29, Bright grew up in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, overcoming infant pneumonia and asthma to enjoy a career as a top level athlete, although her first love was equestrianism, not football.

Showing early promise when she did take to the field aged nine, she was soon scouted playing for Killamarsh Dynamos by Sheffield United and joined their academy before moving to Doncaster Rovers Belles aged 16 in 2009.

Making her debut that same year and scoring on her first start, Bright spent a year on loan at Leeds Ladies before establishing herself at Doncaster, where she played with future Lionesses Mary Earps and Bethany England.

More on the skipper:

Millie Bright: England’s captain leading Lionesses into last-16 of Women’s World Cup

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:56 , Karl Matchett

Half time!

We’re halfway through in both matches. The best chances falling to Sweden in their clash with Argentina but it’s still goalless there.

Italy led from the spot against South Africa before a very strange and very long-range own goal levelled matters.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

As it stands:

  1. Sweden 7pts

  2. Italy 4pts

  3. S.Africa 2pts

  4. Argentina 2pts

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:50 , Karl Matchett

Big chance for Italy on the break but Beccari overhits the pass and the opportunity is lost.

Another strike from range is then saved, while at the other end of the pitch, Karabo Dhlamini runs onto the ball and lashes a first-time shot wildly off-target. Well into injury time in both matches.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:41 , Karl Matchett

Italy almost immediately back in front as a header clips the post. A VAR check for potential penalty doesn’t go their way either – but the Europeans look to have been sparked back into action by the strange equaliser.

Meanwhile, Florencia Bonsegundo is being stretchered off for Argentina with an apparent knee injury. She looks in some distress as Falfan comes on.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:34 , Karl Matchett

GOAL!

What on earth?! South Africa gifted a route back into the game as Benedetta Orsi spins and plays a blind backpass – far too hard and far too inaccurate, beating her own goalkeeper from 25 yards and scoring an own goal!

Incredible way to level matters.

South Africa 1-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:31 , Karl Matchett

Sweden’s best move of the match down the right – Jakobsson gets into space behind the defence and clips a decent ball across, but Schough’s eventual header is weak and off-target.

Half an hour into the first half in both games and as it stands the European nations are both progressing in relative comfort.

South Africa 0-1 Italy

Argentina 0-0 Sweden

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:24 , Karl Matchett

Off the post! South Africa close to an equaliser as a lnog-range effort crashes out off the woodwork!

Argentina meanwhile continue to push through set pieces but they haven’t really managed to threaten Jennifer Falk in goal for Sweden yet.

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:18 , Karl Matchett

A reminder of what each of the quartet now in action requires:

Sweden

– Sweden are already through to the last-16 and top spot in Group G will be confirmed with at least a draw against Argentina.

– Even if Sweden lose, they are still likely to finish top spot. It would take an Italy win, combined with a 10-goal swing, for them to finish second.

Italy

– Italy will go through win a win against South Africa but will be knocked out with a defeat .

– A draw would only be enough if Argentina fail to beat Sweden. Given Italy’s goal difference of -4, any Argentina win against Sweden would see them knocked out if they draw.

South Africa

– South Africa can only go through if they beat Italy, but would only be guaranteed a place in the last-16 if Argentina fail to win.

– If South Africa and Argentina both win, it will go down to goal difference and then goals scored.

Argentina

– Argentina can only go through if they beat Sweden. Like South Africa, they will only be guaranteed a place in the last-16 if South Africa draw or lose and if both teams win it will go down to goal difference.

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:14 , Karl Matchett

GOAL!

Italy are ahead from the penalty spot! Caruso knocks home the spot kick, low to her left, after VAR signalled a foul which wasn’t initially spotted.

That means Argentina, as it stands, cannot go through even if they win. They need South Africa to find a result as well as getting one of their own.

Women’s World Cup latest – LIVE

08:04 , Karl Matchett

Underway in both matches!

Here’s the state of play in Group G:

  1. Sweden 6pts

  2. Italy 3pts

  3. South Africa 1pt

  4. Argentina 1pt

A big ask for either of South Africa or Argentina to win today, but win they must to progress.

Women’s World Cup TV schedule: How to watch every match today

07:58 , Karl Matchett

Lauren James shone again with two fine goals as England put in their best performance of the Women’s World Cup so far to sweep aside China 6-1 and march into the last 16.

That gave England an emphatic victory as they head off to Brisbane to play Nigeria on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere, the United States survived a mighty scare against Portugal to narrowly reach the last-16.

Today, Groups F and G will be concluded, with two more games in Group H tomorrow.

Here is everything you need to know about how to watch the Women’s World Cup.

Women’s World Cup TV schedule: How to watch every match today

When do England play next? Women’s World Cup fixtures and route to the final

07:54 , Karl Matchett

Lauren James inspired England to a thrilling Women’s World Cup victory over China and now the Lionesses are into the knock-out stages of the tournament.

The Chelsea forward has produced some spectacular strikes already down under, with England rebounding from the injury loss of Keira Walsh.

Sarina Wiegman has reshuffled the pack spectacularly and England have regained their confidence, particularly in front of goal.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Lionesses’ next challenge in Australia:

When do England play next? Women’s World Cup fixtures and route to the final

Women’s World Cup golden boot: Who’s leading the top-scorer standings?

07:50 , Karl Matchett

The race for the Women’s World Cup golden boot is taking shape as the group stages continue in Australia and New Zealand.

Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa bagged a brace in the 4-0 victory over Spain to move top of the top-scorer standings, with Lauren James among those on three goals after her stunning double in England’s 6-1 win over China.

If two or more players finish on the same number of goals, the golden boot will be determined by assists and then on minutes played.

Women’s World Cup golden boot: Who’s leading the top-scorer standings?

Sarina Wiegman’s brave switch solves England’s Keira Walsh problem at Women’s World Cup

07:46 , Karl Matchett

Rip it up and start again: if Keira Walsh’s injury spelled the end of something at the Women’s World Cup, it only did for England’s starting formation. Against China, Sarina Wiegman made her most dramatic change as Lionesses manager yet, switching to a 3-5-2 system to counter the blow of losing their key midfielder. In doing so, Wiegman created something new, unlocking England’s best performance in months.

The Lionesses looked like themselves again, and while England’s 6-1 win against China made sure of their progress to the last-16 as Group D winners, as much focus will be on how Wiegman has recalibrated and recharged her side ahead of the knockout stages. After two 1-0 wins over Haiti and Denmark there was an element of danger coming into the decider, but from the opening moments, the tempo and fluidity of England’s performance erased any doubts.

Sarina Wiegman’s brave England switch solves key Women’s World Cup problem

Genius Lauren James takes over Women’s World Cup — but England must learn from rivals

07:38 , Karl Matchett

Much like Lauren James’s divine second goal, this might be dropping beautifully for England. Certainly, Sarina Wiegman suddenly has clarity in a World Cup characterised by uncertainty and unpredictability. James’s very role illustrates that. The young winger’s influence from that wide role was a driving force in this crushing 6-1 win over China that confirmed an expected first place.

It is a first place, however, that suddenly looks very different. The path to the semi-finals, at least, is something else that’s so much clearer.

It now won’t feature Australia or Canada, and may not have any of France, Brazil or Germany. A thrilling Colombia and dangerous last-16 opponents Nigeria are huge threats, but there is the prospect that such developing teams have had their main highs. Just as importantly, the World Cup’s stand-out performers so far, in Japan, are on the other side of the draw.

On that, and the elusive momentum that defines tournaments, England now have none of the sudden doubts that are afflicting other previous favourites in Spain and – above all – the USA.

Read more:

Lauren James takes over World Cup — but England must learn from rivals

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