Live 2015 Women’s World Cup: Group C Final Round

Group C

– Some of Cameroon’s behaviour during the game was unpalatable: they made several nasty fouls, and repeatedly wasted time and feigned injury in the closing stages. Still, physical challenges and yellow cards are part of football, and the fact is that Cameroon cowed Switzerland’s forwards, came to dominate the midfield, and through dynamic and exciting wing play fully deserved their two goals.

Switzerland needed to be more composed at the back and more forceful in the midfield. Their forwards struggled for touches in the second half, and perhaps should have filtered back to help win the ball. If you are neither willing nor capable to compete physically across ninety minutes, then at the very least retaliate with a few well-chosen fouls of your own in order to neuter your opponents.

From my perspective, I’m hoping that Switzerland still qualify for the Round of Sixteen. Ramona Bachmann remains my favourite player in women’s football after her time spent at Umeå IK; and with a little more grit, she and her fellow attackers can still cause teams problems.

Cameroon will face China in Edmonton on 20 June from 17:30 local time. Japan will meet a third-placed qualifier on 23 June from 19:00 in Vancouver.

– So a surprising result in Winnipeg, with Japan managing only a 1-0 victory over Ecuador, but the Japanese still top Group C with three wins and nine points. Cameroon finish second with six points, and on their debut in the competition, they become only the second African side in history to qualify from the group stage. Switzerland finish third with three points – and they will have to wait to see if their strong goal difference is enough to see them through as a best third-placed team.

* * *

Full-time results: Switzerland 1-2 Cameroon, Ecuador 0-1 Japan

90 (+5) minutes: The game fizzles out and that is full-time in Edmonton.

90 (+1) minutes: Enganamouit knees her opponent twice in the back and receives a yellow card, but she is fortunate not to see red.

90 minutes: As Bachmann shoots harmlessly wide from far out, five minutes of stoppage time are announced.

87 minutes: Bachmann uses her pace and tries to force the ball across goal, but the Cameroon defence cut it out at the near post.

86 minutes: Francine Zouga is replaced by Agathe Ngani.

82 minutes: Lia Waelti receives a yellow card for a foul on Enganamouit. The Cameroon player feigns injury to waste a couple of minutes.

79 minutes: Lara Dickenmann comes off for Nicole Remund in Switzerland’s last swap.

77 minutes: Switzerland spurn a couple of corners, seemingly incapable of playing an effective set-piece.

75 minutes: Enganamouit breaks into the left side of the Swiss area, and tries to place the ball across goal, but Thalmann pushes it away.

73 minutes: Onguene receives treatment after a shoulder-barge, but she is fine to continue.

72 minutes: Moser’s free kick reaches Crnogorcevic at the back post, but she can’t connect with the ball.

69 minutes: Onguene storms once more down the right, and cuts the ball back. Francine Zouga should score, but her effort is cleared on the line by Vanessa Bernauer.

68 minutes: Switzerland swap Fabienne Humm for Eseosa Aigbogun.

67 minutes: Claudine Meffometou is the third Cameroon player to receive a yellow card, on this occasion for time-wasting.

66 minutes: As things stand, Japan – who still lead Ecuador by a single goal – are top of Group C, and now Cameroon have overtaken Switzerland to move into second place. Three points, even with a strong goal difference, may not prove enough to qualify as a best third-placed finisher. Switzerland need a goal.

64 minutes: Rahel Kiwic is replaced for Switzerland by Vanessa Bernauer.

61 minutes: Cameroon are rampant while Switzerland have utterly wilted. Onguene drives again down the right and into the penalty area, and pushes the ball onto the head of Ngono, who finds the back of the net. Switzerland 1-2 Cameroon

59 minutes: Onguene attempts another volley inside the Switzerland area which she can’t quite control, before receiving the ball again and almost finding one of her colleagues lined up on the six-yard box. From the resulting corner substitute Ngono heads over.

57 minutes: A substitution for Cameroon as Ajara Nchout comes off for Madeleine Ngono.

52 minutes: Rahel Kiwic plays a long ball out to the left wing, and when it is played into the box Ngo Ndom has to collect at the second time of asking.

50 minutes: The ball comes loose to Bachmann on the right edge of the Cameroon area, but she lofts the ball well over the bar.

48 minutes: Cameroon concede a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal, and a horde of Swiss players gather round the ball. All but one run over it, before it is thudded high over the bar.

46 minutes: Enganamouit fires the ball across goal from the right, and Cameroon can’t quite convert the opportunity. But the ball goes out of play on the opposite side of the pitch, and they take a quick throw. The ball is fed back into the box, Enganamouit fluffs her effort, and it ends up at the feet of Onguene, who shoots across goal for the equaliser. Switzerland 1-1 Cameroon

45 minutes: The second half has kicked off.

– Switzerland have an exceptional set of attackers, with Romana Bachmann having scored 33 goals in 61 international appearances, Ana-Marie Crnogorcevic 35 in 69, and Lara Dickenmann 40 in 99. In their 10-1 victory over Ecuador, both Bachmann and Fabienne Humm scored hat-tricks – Humm’s the fastest in Women’s World Cup history in just five minutes.

Those four are interchanging and causing Cameroon all sorts of problems. Immediately following their opening goal, Switzerland had several good chances to extend their lead. But Cameroon came back into the game towards the end of the half, and they also possess pace and trickery among their forwards.

* * *

45 minutes: Half time here in Edmonton. Switzerland have the advantage. Again, they only need a draw to finish ahead of Cameroon in second place in Group C. Japan just need a point against Ecuador to top the group.

43 minutes: Gaelle Enganamouit flicks the ball over the head of her defender and attempts a speculative volley, which drifts across goal.

41 minutes: A long ball over the top is chested down by Onguene, but her pull-back finds nobody and eventually Cameroon fire high over the bar from distance.

40 minutes: Bachmann flicks the ball past the last defender with the outside of her right foot, but Ngo Ndom is out well to smother.

37 minutes: A long Switzerland throw is flicked on at the near post and finds Bachmann, who scuffs her shot.

35 minutes: A cross from the right is met by the head of Fabienne Humm, but her downward header is straight at Ngo Ndom. She probably should have scored.

34 minutes: Cameroon defender Ajara Nchout receives a yellow card after several poor challenges.

32 minutes: Yango forces Thalmann into a save with a shot from outside the area.

30 minutes: A short pass from the goalkeeper puts Switzerland’s right-back Noelle Maritz under pressure, and the ball is stolen from her. Perhaps she was fouled; but regardless, the ball is played through towards Gabrielle Onguene, who can’t get on the end of it ahead of the onrushing Thalmann.

23 minutes: Crnogorcevic opens the scoring. Bachmann slips down the left side of the Cameroon defence, and squares the ball, which is deflected for Crnogorcevic. The striker sidefoots calmly between her marker’s legs. Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon

19 minutes: After a mix-up in the Cameroon defence, Bachmann is through, but the ball gets stuck under her feet and she can’t quite lift it over the goalkeeper. A corner for Switzerland, which comes to nothing.

18 minutes: Feudjio picks up the game’s first yellow card for a late challenge.

17 minutes: The first corner of the game goes to Cameroon, and captain Christine Manie heads just wide. That was a real chance.

16 minutes: A cross is delivered from the right by Lara Dickenmann, but Ngo Ndom holds on to the ball under pressure.

15 minutes: A strong run by Cameroon’s Raissa Feudjio ends with a free-kick, which Jeannette Yango delivers – but it is headed clear.

9 minutes: After Ramona Bachmann is fouled by Cameroon, Switzerland’s captain Martina Moser delivers a chipped ball into the box, which Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic just fails to collect.

5 minutes: Yuki Ogimi puts Japan into an early lead against Ecuador – presumably the first goal of many. Ecuador 0-1 Japan

5 minutes: A free-kick for Cameroon is pumped straight into the Switzerland area, but it is well taken by Thalmann in goal.

0 minutes: We are underway at the Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, our home for Switzerland vs. Cameroon; and in Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg for Ecuador vs. Japan.

* * *

– We’ll be following Switzerland vs. Cameroon here, keeping an eye too on events at Winnipeg Stadium. The line-ups are as follows:

Switzerland XI: Thalmann, Rinast, Maritz, Kuster, Moser (c), Waelti, Bachmann, Dickenmann, Crnogorcevic, Kiwic, Humm

Substitutes: Michel, Oehrli, Remund, Betschart, Zehnder, Abbe, Ismaili, Burki, Aigbogun, Schwarz, Bernauer, Deplazes

Cameroon XI: Ngo Ndom, Manie (c), Nchout, Ejangue, Zouga, Onguene, Feudjio, Yango, Awona, Meffometou Tcheno, Enganamouit

Substitutes: Mbororo, Enyegue Flore, Leuko, Ngono Mani, Cathy, Abena, Sonkeng, Akaba, Ngani, Ngo Mbeleck, Bella, Wanki

– We are in Winnipeg and Edmonton on the eleventh day of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, for the final round of matches in Group C. Switzerland vs. Cameroon and Ecuador vs. Japan are ten minutes away. After yesterday’s matches in Group B and Group A, Germany, Norway, Canada, and China have already qualified for the Round of Sixteen, with Netherlands likely to join them as one of four best third-placed finishers.

In Group A so far, Cameroon and then Switzerland both thumped Ecuador, 7-0 and 10-1 respectively. Those ten goals scored by Switzerland make them the second highest scoring team in the competition so far, only behind the Germans.

However in their opening group match, Switzerland fell 0-1 to Japan; and Japan triumphed again in their second group game against Cameroon, with Cameroon losing the match 1-2. That leaves Japan on six points and at the top of Group C. Any result – either a draw or a victory – over Ecuador will see them finish at the head of the group, and given Japan’s progress so far, and their status as defending champions, Ecuador should be in for another thrashing.

Switzerland’s better scoring record puts them ahead of Cameroon in the group, with both sides possessing three points. A draw or a win today, and Switzerland will remain ahead of Cameroon and qualify for the Round of Sixteen. A win for Cameroon, and they will overtake Switzerland and qualify in their place. In fact, a draw may be enough to see both sides through.

Again, the group phase of the competition has comprised six groups of four teams. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the Round of Sixteen, along with the four best third-placed teams. Qualification depends first on points, with three points for a win and one for a draw; then on goal difference; then goals scored; before the results of matches played between sides are considered.