Day Four of 2019 Women’s World Cup action heralded a solitary goal but plenty of talking points, as Janine Beckie’s Canada kicked off their campaign with victory over Cameroon and England’s Group D opponents Japan and Argentina locked horns.
Beckie – on her 57th appearance for her country – claimed an assist on her tournament debut, floating a corner to the backpost for Kadeisha Buchanan to head home on the brink of half-time to clinch the three points and the perfect start for the 2015 hosts and quarter-finalists.
Canada’s other Group E challengers New Zealand and the Netherlands face each other at 2pm today with some familiar faces set to feature for the Football Ferns in former City players Betsy Hassett and Emma Kete.
The Netherlands are the reigning European Champions, having lifted the 2017 trophy on home soil.
Meanwhile, in Group D, Argentina picked up their first World Cup point with a hard-fought goalless draw against 2011 competition winners and 2015 runners-up Japan.
The result provided a huge boost for England and Scotland’s chances of progression, blowing the group wide open.
The Lionesses sit top of the group with three points, following Sunday’s hard-earned triumph over their British neighbours.
Matchday two in Group D takes place on Friday with England facing Argentina (8pm BST), and Caroline Weir’s Scotland going head-to-head with Japan in the 2pm kick-off.
Also in action today are pre-tournament favourites the United States, as the reigning World Cup Champions begin their defence of the trophy against Thailand in Group F.
The three-time winners have of course always set the benchmark for women’s football, featuring a host of star names, including two-time FIFA Player of the Year and former City star Carli Lloyd.
The Olympic gold medallist joined City in 2017 on a loan spell for the Spring Series, helping Nick Cushing’s side to an FA Cup and Champions League semi-final – both of which she scored in.
The 2019 tournament marks her fourth World Cup and she played a pivotal role in the USA’s 2015 success, receiving the Golden Ball as Player of the Tournament and Silver Boot for her six goals, which included a stunning hat-trick in the 5-2 Final triumph over Japan.
Her astonishing 55-yard effort, which completed her first half treble, earned a nomination for the Puskás Award.
Work hard, keep your head down and have people in your corner that will support you always. @CarliLloyd is set to play in her fourth and final World Cup, and she's ready to get this going, always 100% in.— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 7, 2019
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The USA’s Group F opponents Chile and Sweden face off at 5pm BST with former City player Kosovare Asllani set to represent the Scandinavian outfit.