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World Cup Groups F, G wrap up play on TSN

France Celebrates France Celebrates - The Canadian Press

Three more teams will punch their tickets to the Round of 16 at the 2023 Women's World Cup with the finales of group-stage play in Groups F and G.

Of the eight teams in the two groups, only Sweden has already booked its place in the knockout round with six points through its first two games.

In Wellington, Italy knows it's in a good spot to reach the Round of 16, but will have to contend with a desperate South Africa playing for their lives. Anything less than a win and the Banyana Banyana are headed home.

You can catch South Africa vs. Italy in Group G action from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Wellington with coverage getting underway at 2:45am et/11:45pm pt on TSN2, streaming on the TSN App and on

After winning their opening match against Argentina with a late goal from Cristiana Girelli, the Azzurre were brought down to earth in a hurry with a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Sweden.

The loss to Sweden stung, midfielder Manuela Giugliano says, because the Azzurre believed they were playing well enough to win.

"The Sweden game was a shame because we played well for 38-40 minutes, we were the better team," the 25-year-old Roma midfielder said. "We’re angry about it given what happened after. All together, we will take on what we did well. We have another game to try to go through [to the knockouts]."

While a single point would be enough to move on should Sweden stay undefeated against Argentina, only a win guarantees a spot in the Round of 16 for Italy, especially considering that Sweden could choose to rest starters in what is a meaningless game for them.

South Africa is still looking for their first World Cup and the story of their tournament, thus far, has been late capitulation. The Banyana Banyana opened up a 2-0 lead over Argentina on Matchday 2, but a pair of quick goals from La Albiceleste ensured the match would end in a 2-2 draw. All four goals that have been conceded by South Africa have come in the second half with three of the four coming within the last 20 minutes. If South Africa manages to grab a lead against Italy, they're going to have to hold onto it.

“I think this game has to be motivating us because it’s our last one in the group," Racing Louisville forward Thengi Kgatlana said. "After this, we don’t know if we go forward or not. Everyone has to be mentally 100 per cent. We want to go for this game and, whatever the result, the whole team needs to be together."

In the group's other match, Sweden enters having already wrapped up top spot in the group and a date with the United States on Sunday. Officially, Italy could still finish atop Group G, but that would require beating South Africa, Argentina defeating Sweden and overturning a +10 goal differential. That's not happening. The situation could inform how Sweden manager Peter Gerhardsson picks his lineup. Anybody carrying anything close to an injury is highly unlikely to be risked. Still, La Albiceleste shouldn't expect Sweden to roll over.

You can catch Argentina vs. Sweden in Group G action from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Hamilton with coverage getting underway at 2:45am et/11:45pm pt on TSN1/4/5, streaming on the TSN App and on

“We can’t ease off now," Sweden assistant manager Magnus Wikman said. "It’s not the time for that. Some players need more playing time and others need a bit of a rest. There’s no need either for us to take risks with players who are running the risk of picking up an injury in a situation like this. Sunday’s last-16 tie is our priority."

Argentina's furious comeback to draw 2-2 with South Africa on Matchday 2 will buoy spirits, but their fate is out of their own hands. Should Italy defeat South Africa, then the result of their match is moot. But Argentina owns a superior goal difference to Italy and would advance should they both finish on four points. Things get trickier should Argentina and South Africa both finish on four points with both teams currently holding an equal goal differential of -1.

Argentina manager German Portanova says his team knows exactly what to do in order to reach the World Cup knockouts for the first time ever.

“We’ll set the team up to take on Sweden with the same belief as always," Portanova said. "We’ve got a plan in our heads and we aim to execute it. We know we’ve got things we can improve but the objective stays the same. We want to go down in history with a win and we’ll go for it."

Over in Group F, there's still everything to play for with Jamaica and France on four points and Brazil on three.

The Reggae Girlz are coming off of their first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 win over Panama thanks to a 55th-minute header from captain Allyson Swaby.

"I am so happy to be the match-winner tonight," Swaby said after the match. "The win is huge for us. It keeps our dream of getting out of this group alive. We have one more game to fight through and we’re happy to be in a position to stay in the tournament. Panama played really well. It’s the hardest match we’ve played against them. For me, it’s exciting, it shows Concacaf is growing. I’m really proud of the region and I think this tournament is showing we’re rising to the level of the rest of the world."

The victory puts Jamaica in a great position to advance to the Round of 16, knowing that only one point against Brazil will do the job.

You can catch Jamaica vs. Brazil in Group F action from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Melbourne with coverage getting underway at 5:45am et/2:45am pt on TSN2, streaming on the TSN App and on

“The Brazilians have a lot of talent and will play their usual way," manager Lorne Donaldson said. "We need to do something special to get the result we want. If you’d said to me before the World Cup that we’d still be in contention with a game to go, I would have taken that. It’s what we wanted: to have something to play for in our last game."

Brazil enter the match off of a disappointing 2-1 loss to France in a battle of footballing superpowers.

“I’m disappointed because we didn’t play in the Brazilian way," Brazil manager Pia Sundhage said. "I need to look at that and see what we can do against Jamaica. We need to be smart and not take so many risks. When I talk about risks, I mean that it’s a risk to give the ball up and just defend. It’s okay to defend when we’re compact, but we only went halfway.”

While there is a scenario where a draw would be enough to see Brazil advance, only a win can guarantee that Brazil avoids a group-stage exit for the first time since 1995.

From a personal perspective, the match might offer the last opportunity for the iconic Marta to become the first player, male or female, to score at six World Cups. Canada's Christine Sinclair also had the chance, but failed to score in any of her three matches.

In the group's other match, Les Bleues meet an already eliminated Panama knowing that the job isn't done just yet.

You can catch Panama vs. France in Group F action from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sydney with coverage getting underway at 5:45am et/2:45am pt on TSN2, streaming on the TSN App and on

France picked up a famous victory over Brazil on the back of a header from captain Wendie Renard in the 83rd minute,

Manager Herve Renard credited his team for bouncing back after Debinha had cancelled out Eugenie Le Sommer's opener.

"We had the courage to react after conceding," Renard said. "We found that second goal and showed a lot of courage and self-sacrifice. Sometimes in a competition there are benchmark matches. This must be one of them because we beat a very good Brazil team. [With Wendie Renard] it's experience. I'd like to thank her for sticking to her guns and all the girls for putting in so much effort."

While Panama can't qualify for the knockouts, there is still one prize on offer for the team - a first-ever World Cup victory.

“I think that so far we’ve shown that we deserve to be here; I’m really proud of how the team performed in the first two matches," Washington Spirit midfielder Riley Tanner said. "We gave our all right until the final whistle, but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough. We’ve learned so much – it’s a terrific opportunity for the entire squad. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for this team, because with these girls the sky’s the limit."

Because of that, Les Bleues don't intend to take their opposition lightly.

“We showed a lot of character in our last match," Chelsea defender Eve Perisset. "We – all the players and staff – really supported each other. We’re going to have to keep that going, to keep working hard so that we’re ready for the third match and the next stage of the tournament."

Group F's winner will play the Group H runner-up on Tuesday, while the Group F runner-up takes on the Group H winner also on Tuesday.