Monday, 2 October, 2023

Colombia stun Germany but New Zealand out in tears

Colombia stun Germany but New Zealand out in tears
Colombia’s midfielder Manuela Vanegas (left) celebrates a goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group H match against Germany at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday. —AFP PHOTO

Colombia scored a 97th-minute winner to stun Germany 2-1 on a night of Women's World Cup drama Sunday which also saw Norway and Switzerland into the last 16 but co-hosts New Zealand dumped out in tears.

Germany smashed Morocco 6-0 in their opener to underline why they were among the pre-tournament favourites, along with Spain and England, to snatch away the United States' crown.

But they came crashing back down to earth at the hands of a Colombia side inspired by 18-year-old Linda Caicedo and roared on by the majority of a rowdy 40,000 crowd in Sydney.

The Real Madrid attacker scored one of the best goals of the tournament so far, darting past two Germany defenders before curling the ball into the top corner to open the scoring. Germany thought they had salvaged a point in the 89th minute when skipper Alexandra Popp defied the whistles to score from the penalty spot.

But with a pulsating game that deep into stoppage time appeared destined for a draw, Manuela Vanegas popped up to head home from close range and put Colombia on the verge of the last 16.