England moves into World Cup quarterfinals
Vail, CO Colorado
CHENGDU, China ” England moved into the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup with a 6-1 win over hapless Argentina on Monday.
Two goals by Kelly Smith, one each by Fara Williams, Jill Scott and Vicky Exley plus an own goal gave England second place in Group A behind Germany.
England will meet the winner of Group B ” the United States or North Korea ” in a quarterfinal on Saturday. That group will be decided on Tuesday.
Argentina trailed after the ninth minute on an own goal. A cross was floated into the penalty area and Argentine captain Eva Gonzalez ” under no pressure ” tried to head it back to her own keeper but connected too firmly and put it into the net.
Just a minute later, the lead was doubled in equally unusual fashion. England midfielder Jill Scott closed down an opponent in a challenge, and her hasty kick flew 25 yards past Romina Ferro, who was slow to react.
It was 3-0 in the 50th minute after Fara Williams converted a penalty, with Catalina Perez receiving her second yellow card for committing the foul, reducing Argentina to 10 players.
Argentina scored in the 60th minute via a 20-yard freekick by Gonzalez. It was just the second goal Argentina had scored in a World Cup in six matches.
England restored its three-goal buffer in the 64th minute as Rachel Yankey cut in from the left wing and her low cross was tapped in by Kelly Smith from close range. Smith became the first player to have scored three goals for England at a World Cup.
Smith tied tournament scorering leaders in the 77th minute when England went up 5-1. A long-range shot by Yankey was only blocked by Ferro and the onrushing Smith had little trouble knocking it home.
Exley got the final goal on a penalty to make it 6-1.
Argentina goes home with an 0-3 record and a goal difference of minus 16 ” the worst record by any team in World Cup history.
Defending champion Germany, with a record-setting goal from Birgit Prinz, beat Japan 2-0 on Monday to advance to the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup.
England was the second team to advance from Group A with a 6-1 win over Argentina in Chengdu.
Germany finished the group stage with seven points, followed by England with five, Japan with four and Argentina with none.
Germany will meet the second place team from Group B ” probably the United States or North Korea. England gets the Group B winner, again probably the U.S. or North Korea. Group B wraps up on Tuesday.
Germany dominated the game and opened the scoring when the ball fell to Prinz’s feet off a corner kick in the first half. She quickly buried the ball into the top of the goal for her 13th goal in World Cup finals competition.
That breaks the record Prinz shared with American Michelle Ackers.
Renate Lingor added a late penalty for Germany.
Germany, playing without midfielder Simone Laudehr who was suspended because she had picked up two yellow cards, could have scored more except for poor shooting and excellent goalkeeping by Miho Fukumoto.
Fukumoto robbed Petra Wimbersky in the fifth minute, tipping a hard shot over the bar.
Fukumoto also needed to be sharp to turn away a hard shot from substitute Fatmire Bajramaj midway through the second half.
Wimbersky missed an open goal with 15 minutes left, disappointing the pro-German crowd of 39,800 at the Hangzhou Dragon Stadium.
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