Group A: FIN 1 - 1 URU (FIN: Aino Vuorinen 51'; URU: Esperanza Pizarro 79')
Finland with their first appearance at the World Cup took on hosts Uruguay appearing in their second Championships. Both teams locked horns in an attempt to secure their first victory at the Estadio Domingo Burgueño in Maldonado, Uruguay.
A partisan crowd of just above 2000 odd spectators witnessed as the hosts put in a terrific performance managing four of their 19 attempts striking the mark.
Though the first half ended 0-0, Uruguay had their best chance when Emma Immonen's attempt to clear a back pass resulted in hitting it straight to Valentina Morales inside the penalty box. A diving effort to the right from Immonen saved the embarrassment for Uruguay as Morales opportunistic effort got saved.
In the second half, Finland surprised everyone when Jenni Kantanen slipped in a through ball to Annika Huhta who set it up for Aino Vuorinen on the far right. Vuorinen with two excellent touches slotted the ball under Agustina Caraballo‘s arms to find the bottom left corner to make it 1-0.
Esperanza Pizarro produced an excellent short in the 79th minute after swivelling around to strike with her right foot. The ball sailed into the top right corner past a faint touch from the leaping Emma Immonen to draw the scores level.
For all their attacking intent, Las Celestes, at last, managed something to show for their efforts springing the home crowd into rapturous cheers.
Finland struck three of their six attempts on target. A resolute Finnish defence blocked seven of Uruguay’s attempts on the goal with Uruguay commanding 61% of the ball possession.
Finland committed 22 fouls receiving three yellow card cautions from American referee Ekaterina Koroleva. Uruguay received one yellow card caution in the 47th minute. Belen Aquino‘s scintillating performance for Uruguay won her the player of the match.
The stalemate left both teams still in search of their maiden victory in the Championship.
Group B: Ghana 9 points, New Zealand 6, Finland 1, Uruguay 1.
Ghana and New Zealand advance to the knockouts.Published 25 Nov 2018, 14:38 IST