Brisbane (Australia), July 22 A penalty by Georgia Stanway secured a 1-0 victory for European champion England over Haiti at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, here on Saturday.
This victory propelled tournament favorite England to a temporary top spot in Group D with three points, ahead of a match between China and Denmark later that Saturday.
Participating in the World Cup for the first time, Haiti lost central defender Jennyfer Limage early in the game due to injury. The team faced another setback in the 29th minute when they were penalised for a handball in the penalty area, a Xinhua report said.
Stanway, a midfielder, accurately dispatched the retaken penalty to the bottom corner, securing England, the world’s fourth-ranked team, a 1-0 lead.
Despite ranking lowest in the group, Haiti demonstrated their determination to fight for a last-16 berth, threatening England with swift counterattacks and clear opportunities.
Melchie Dumornay, who recently joined French league titleholder Lyon, assumed a No. 10 role in Haiti’s 4-2-3-1 formation. She guided the team with assured ball control, expansive vision and judicious distribution.
The 19-year-old star engineered the majority of Haiti’s dangerous chances, forming an effective partnership with forward Roselord Borgella and left midfielder Nerilia Mondesir, who both play in the top division of the French league.
Haiti, ranked 53rd in the FIFA rankings, nearly leveled the score with nine minutes remaining when substitute Roseline Eloissaint squandered a one-on-one opportunity from close range, her shot blocked by a fantastic left-foot save from England goalkeeper Mary Earps.
The 2023 World Cup, hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, will see only the top two teams from each of the eight groups progress to the round of 16. This marks the inaugural instance of the women’s football’s premier tournament expanding to a 32-team format.