The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup continues Wednesday (on FOX and the FOX Sports app), with Panama (0-0-2) eyeing its first win of the tournament against France (1-1-0) at Sydney Football Stadium in Australia.
Las Canaleras, who are making their World Cup debut this year, will have their work cut out for them, as France is ranked No. 5 in the world, according to FIFA.
France will punch its ticket to the next round with a win or draw against Panama, though a victory would win Group F outright. A loss would likely mean elimination for Les Bleus.
Panama has already been eliminated and is playing for pride.
Find every scenario for how each team can advance out of its group and into the knockouts here.
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Panama vs. France
64′: Panama converts on PK of its own to cut French lead to 5-2
After France got two penalty kicks, Panama got its turn to kick one when Élisa de Almeida fouled Riley Tanner on a header contest just briefly inside the box.
Yomira Pinzón took advantage, converting on the penalty kick to give Panama another goal for pride.
52′: Kadidiatou Diani completes hat trick to give France a 5-1 lead
Another Panama handball led to another France penalty kick, which led to another Diani goal.
The French forward completed the hat trick on a penalty kick after VAR ruled that a Panama defender touched the ball with her hand on a cross in the box. Diani went low and to the left to get the goal that put France up 5-1, almost assuring that it will win Group F.
It’s also Diani’s fifth goal of the tournament, putting her on top in the Golden Boot race as she scored the first hat trick in France’s history at the Women’s World Cup.
France’s Kadidiatou Diani scores goal vs. Panama in 52′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
HALFTIME: France leads 4-1
Panama arguably scored the goal of the tournament when Marta Cox somehow converted a free kick from several yards outside the box to go up 1-0 in the second minute.
However, France took control of the first half shortly after, scoring four unanswered goals to give it a 4-1 lead going into the break. With the impressive play, France sits in a good spot entering the final 45 minutes, as it leads Group F in the live standings.
45′ + 5′: France piles it on in the first half
France continued its late first-half surge all the way until the final minute, scoring on a play it might not have intended to. Léa Le Garrec’s cross into the box found its way into the middle of traffic, but no French player connected with the ball.
That didn’t matter though, as the ball took a hard bounce off the pitch and bounced into the net to make it 4-1.
France’s Lea Le Garrec scores goal vs. Panama in 45+5′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
37′: France makes it 3-1 with a PK
France continued its momentum late in the first half with some help from Panama. After it was ruled Wendy Natis committed a handball in the box, France was given a penalty kick. It took advantage of the opportunity, with Kadidiatou Diani going left for the goal to give France a 3-1 lead.
France’s Kadidiatou Diani scores goal vs. Panama in 37′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
28′: France takes the lead
France continued its attack minutes after evening the match as it pressed on Panama, which allowed Kadidiatou Diani to get a goal from close range and put France up 2-1.
France’s Kadidiatou Diani scores goal vs. Panama in 28′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
With the goal, France leads the Group F live standings.
21′: France ties it up
France was able to create chaos in the box, with Maëlle Lakrar’s header deflecting off a Panama defender to find its way into the net to tie the game up. With the goal, France would advance if things were to stand.
France’s Maelle Lakrar scores goal vs. Panama in 21′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
12′: Learning more about Marta Cox
The Panama midfielder is no stranger to making big plays on the international stage. Before scoring her country’s first goal in a Women’s World Cup on a free kick from several yards outside the box on Wednesday, Cox scored the goal in February that ultimately sent Panama to the World Cup.
That all came after one of the toughest stretches of Cox’s life. A year ago, she found out her mother had undetected advanced stomach cancer during training for World Cup qualifiers. Cox’s mom passed away shortly after.
Following her goal on Wednesday, Cox was understandably emotional, as her teammates joined her in celebration.
2′: An opening strike gives on a free kick gives Panama 1-0 lead
Marta Cox scored one of the goals of the tournament just minutes into Wednesday’s match. After France committed a foul several yards outside the box, Cox took the free kick and somehow got into the net by hitting the top left corner.
Panama’s Marta Cox scores goal vs. France in 2′ | 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
It’s Panama’s first-ever at a FIFA Women’s World Cup. It also put France in a dangerous spot early, as it likely won’t be able to afford a loss to advance.
Setting the stage
The “World Cup NOW” crew previewed the match live on social media ahead of kickoff.
Check out the full Women’s World Cup schedule and how to watch each match live here. Find the latest scores here.
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