Photo Credit: Hannah Peters – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Italy scored a late winner to overcome Argentina in their opening 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Group G encounter at Eden Park in Auckland.

A bumper crowd of 30,889 watched as the Italians started the better in the opening period but struggled to break down a well disciplined and aggressive Argentinian defence. Le Azzurre did have the ball in the net on two occasions but both were correctly chalked off for offside – Arianna Caruso and Valentina Giacinti the players denied their names on the scoresheet.

Italy continued to dominate the second 45 but left it late to secure the three points. Lisa Boattin’s cross from the left-hand side was met by a powerful header from substitute Cristiana Girelli, placed beyond the reach of Argentine goalkeeper Vanina Correa.

Florencia Bosegundo went close to levelling deep into stoppage time but her free-kick was well parried by Francesca Durante and Italy held on to kick off their campaign with a win.

Italy: 1 (Cristiana GIRELLI 87′)
Argentina: 0

HT: 0-0

Alexandra Popp was the hero as Euro 2022 finalists Germany beat Morocco 6-0 in Melbourne to take all three points in the opening match of Group H.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 24: Germany players celebrate the team’s first goal scored by Alexandra Popp (obscured) during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Germany and Morocco at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on July 24, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Alex Grimm – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The German captain struck twice in the first half – both headers – to set her side on their way and put the result beyond doubt inside the first 45.

Klara Buehl made it three within seconds the of the restart before Hanane Ait El Haj turned the ball into her own net to make it four. A fifth came via another own goal, this time from Zineb Redouani, with the sixth added late on by Lea Schueller.

Germany: 6 (Alexandra POPP 11′, 39′, Klara BUEHL 46′, OWN GOAL 54′, 79′, Lea SCHUELLER 90′)
Morocco: 0

HT: 2-0

Ary Borges hit a hat-trick as Brazil eased to a comfortable victory over Panama in their opening match at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

Panama – making their Women’s World Cup debut – struggled with cope with the pace and incision of the South American outfit, and fell behind to Borges’ first strike in the 19th minute. The Racing Louisville FC forward, making her World Cup debut, added a second not long before half-time to put her side in a comfortable position.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 24: Ary Borges of Brazil celebrates after scoring her team’s fourth and her hat trick goal during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group F match between Brazil and Panama at Hindmarsh Stadium on July 24, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Bia Zaneratto scored Brazil’s third in the early minutes of the second-half before Borges completed her hat-trick with twenty minutes remaining to complete a impressive victory in Adelaide.

Brazil: 4 (Ary BORGES 19′, 39′, 70′, Bia ZANERATTO 48′)
Panama: 0

HT: 2-0