MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Jamaican team celebrate during the Women's World Cup football match between Jamaica and Brazil at AAMI Park on August 02, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dave Hewison/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

FIFA WWC Match Day 14 - A Changing of the Guard?

Keep up to date with Edge of the Crowd's coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as an action-packed Day 14 saw the groups take shape with some shock eliminations and historic qualifications for teams from Africa and the Caribbean. How did it all unfold? Read on to find out.

Get caught up on Day 13 right here:

Argentina vs Sweden

Sweden completed a clean sweep of their group-stage fixtures by taking care of Argentina 2-0. The Swedish victory set up a mouthwatering clash with the United States in the Round of 16.

Sweden swept aside Argentina with Rebecca Blomqvist opening the scoring as she met Sofia Jakobsson’s cross with a fantastic header in the 66th minute. The victory was secured in the 90th minute with Elin Rubensson slotting home from the penalty spot.

It was heartbreaking for Argentina who required a victory to qualify for the knockout phase, but it wasn’t to be. Their broken hearts were compounded by an injury to midfielder Florencia Bonsegundo, who left the field on the stroke of halftime.

When it was all said and done, Sweden topped the group with three wins from three starts, while Argentina had a World Cup to forget, finishing dead last in Group G.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Sofia Jakobsson (SWE). Although she didn't make it on the scoresheet today, Sofia Jakobsson was tremendous for Sweden with her pressing and creative play. She is going to be a weapon for the Swedes in their push for World Cup glory. 

South Africa vs Italy 

South Africa earned a historic qualification to the knockout phase in what was essentially a knockout clash against Italy in a goal-fest at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Banyana Banyana gave away a penalty in the 11th minute, which Italian midfielder Arianna Caruso slotted home to begin the onslaught of goals. An own goal brought the South Africans back into the contest in the first half before Hildah Magaia gave them the lead in the second half.

It seemed like it was going to be another missed opportunity for South Africa when Caruso equalised for the Azzurre, but this time South Africa found a way to win.

Striker Thembi Kgatlana wrote her name into the history books as the player that secured South Africa their first-ever berth in the knockout stage of a Women’s World Cup when she finished a counterattacking move by putting the ball into the back of the net, sending the entire country of South Africa into meltdown.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Thembi Kgatlana (RSA). She would probably get this off the back of the historic goal she scored, but it was more than that from the Racing Louisville striker. She was a constant menace to the Italian defence and more than deserved her goal.

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Panama v France

Panama and France produced an absolute goal-fest of a game with nine total goals scored across the match - the largest cumulative total of this year's Women's World Cup so far.

With France safe to finish inside the top two of Group F, Panama still looked on a mission to pick up at least a point - and a goal - from the nation's first-ever appearance at a Women's World Cup. And from the second minute, Panama looked to spoil the party.

Marta Cox curled a free kick from 30 yards out into the top left corner, in what will not only be remembered as Panama's first goal in Women's World Cup history, but as an individual goal in its own right too.

From there however, France responded well like intended, scoring the next five goals of the game as the side took a 4-1 lead into half-time and seven minutes into the restart, Kadidiatou Diani had her third when she knocked in her second penalty kick of the game.

France's energy slightly dropped, and Panama took advantage, mounting what was a comeback of sorts to have the scoreline at 5-3 to France with three minutes plus added time to play. But, the might of France shone through to record the win and keep a perfect record through the group stage.

France will face the runner-up of Group H in the Round of 16, meanwhile Panama exits a debut Women's World Cup tournament without a point, but will look back on the campaign having taken it up to (and scoring three goals against) a world-class heavyweight.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Kadidiatou Diani (FRA). The lone striker upfront for France, Kadidiatou Diani was electric against Panama, scoring three goals from seven attempts on goal. The hat-trick marked the nation's first-ever at a Women's World Cup.

Jamaica v Brazil

It was a night of jubilation for Jamaica, qualifying for the knockout stage following a tense nil-all draw with Brazil. It's the first time the Carribean nation has made it past the group stage, while on the other hand, it was pure devastation for a team who misses out for the first time since 1995.

It was a game of exceptional defending from Jamaica, who knew a point was all that was needed to stay in the top two, with Brazil unable to create enough goalscoring opportunities on the night.

Jamaica held firm despite Brazil trying to press for a winner through Debinha, Alves, and Allyson Swaby, but picked up a third clean sheet in a row, producing one of the shocks of the tournament.

Jamaica finish runners-up in Group F and will take on the winners of Group H in the Round of 16, while Brazil's run ends with an early exit in what will be Marta's - the greatest-ever World Cup goalscorer - final tournament.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Rebecca Spencer (JAM). Jamaica's goalkeeper may be short in stature but stood tall in important moments to deny Brazil a goal and help her team qualify for the Round of 16. She managed to navigate 17 shots - and nine on target - away no matter where the attempts came from.

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