The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been in full swing over in Australia and New Zealand for over a week now, and we finally have a Chelsea player on the scoresheet thanks to Lauren James. (Current Chelsea player, to be clear. Former Chelsea midfielder Ramona Bachmann did get a goal for Switzerland the other day.)
Chelsea are the second-most represented club at the tournament with 16 players (Barcelona have 17), so it was about time! (And still second most with 14 if we don’t count Pernille Harder and Magdalena Eriksson.)
James’s goal, scored in the sixth minute, turned out to be the only goal in last night’s match against Denmark (captained by the departing Harder), giving England, captained once again by Millie Bright, their second successive 1-0 win. That’s not overly impressive, but it does put them in a great position to advance to the knockout rounds. They will need at least a draw against China in the final group game to guarantee that. Jess Carter and Niamh Charles did not feature in this one.
PANDEMONIUM ✨— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 28, 2023
England's Lauren James hit this absolute stunner to secure all three points for the Lionesses pic.twitter.com/AgkZz8h61c
And speaking of goals, Sam Kerr looks to be over her injury and is set to make her tournament debut in the must-win match against Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan’s Canada on Monday.
Also facing elimination are Guro Reiten and Maren Mjelde’s Norway, who have yet to record a win after two tries. They face the Philippines on Sunday and will have to hope that Switzerland and New Zealand don’t split the points in their final group game.
France play their second game tonight, against Brazil, with Éve Perisset hoping for some minutes.
Lastly, Sweden and Germany both got off to winning starts, 2-1 against South Africa and 6-0 against Morocco, respectively. Zećira Mušović, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (and Eriksson) all played practically the entire game for Sweden, while Melanie Leupolz put in an hour-long shift for Germany, for whom Ann-Katrin Berger was the backup goalkeeper.