26 October 2023 | in University World Cup Football
On the final day of women tournament’s preliminaries, the last unknown in the equation was who would finish second of each group and play against the Brazilian Paulista University and the host nation’s team, Beijing Normal University, who had already secured the top spots.
In what will likely remain the best match of the Women tournament’s group stage, the University of Bordeaux (picture above) made the impossible possible. Victory was mandatory because of their worse goal difference but to achieve it they had to forge a Hitchcockian comeback. Their first half against the College of Asian Scholars (CAS) from Thailand was the perfect illustration of one of the basic rules of the game: only the goals count. The French team played the best football, had the highest ball possession and the best opportunities yet was trailing 0-2 at the tea break. The CAS had scored two goals out of two and a half opportunities. The opener was the result of a fantastic free kick shot from 40 metres that hit the bar and rebounded directly in the feet of Ngok-Wong – call it snooker-like soccer. Then a ball loss by Bordeaux at the wrong place and wrong moment allowed Chetthabutr to double his team’s lead just before half time. We will never know if Bordeaux’s tea was a Grand Cru but it gave the team the efficiency they were missing so far. A penalty kick at the start of the second half, a close range shot in the middle of it and a speedy counter at the end made it 3-2. The CAS was knocked out.
For a long time it seemed that the principle of reciprocity of gifts would decide the other crucial game between the Goethe University of Frankfurt (GUF) and the University of Sydney (USYD, left picture). After 19 minutes, Amelia Feeney, the Australian captain, thought she could dare a dribble just outside her box. But her direct opponent Johanna Biermann did not let it fool her, picked up the ball and scored a goal that even a grandmother would have scored. Shortly before the 60-minute mark another grandmother would probably have stopped the ball that the German goalkeeper Jana Buk awkwardly dropped in her net after a harmless free kick. At that moment the GUF was still in the semifinals. However, 10 minutes before the end Olivia Lysiak converted a precise depth pass and propelled the USYD to the next round.
In the other afternoon match, those who were hoping to see some African dancing – that is how the players of University of Kindia celebrate their goals – witnessed instead a long recital of Chinese music led by soloists Liu and Zou. Beijing Normal University’s 10-1 win over Kindia was a well-tuned score. The only sour note was the sore loser behaviour and repeated vicious fouls of the Guineans in the second half which were not in the spirit of university sports (right picture).
In a match with nothing at stake, Paulista University easily beat the Uman State Pedagogical University (UDPU) of Ukraine 5-0 thanks to five different scorers. The Brazilians have also preserved their clean sheet (picture below).
Results of the day:
Beijing Normal University (CHN)-University of Kindia (GUI) 10-1 (7-0)
Liu (3’, 1-0), Zou (8’, 2-0), Shao (11’, 3-0), Balde (15’, 4-0, OG), Liu (30’, 5-0), Zou (41’, 6-0, 45’+1, 7-0), N. Camara (47’, 7-1), Zhou (60’, 8-1), Liu (66’, 9-1), Wang (90’+2, 10-1)
Goethe University of Frankfurt (GER)-University of Sydney (AUS) 1-2 (1-1)
Biermann (19’, 1-0), Hampshire (56’, 1-1), Lysiak (82’, 1-2)
University of Bordeaux (FRA)-College of Asian Scholars 3-2 (0-2)
Ngok-Wong (16’, 0-1), Chetthabutr (40’, 0-2), Correia (48’, 1-2, pen), Zubieta (73’, 2-2), Baudry (89’, 3-2)
Paulista University (BRA)- Uman State Pedagogical University (UKR) 5-0 (3-0)
Souza (2’, 1-0), Da Silva (24’, 2-0), Carvalho (34’, 3-0), Pereira (60’, 4-0, pen), Faria (84’, 5-0)
Group A: 1. Beijing Normal University (CHN) 3/9 (24-3); 2. University of Sydney (AUS) 3/4 (4-5); 3. Goethe University of Frankfurt (GER), 3/3 (5-15); 4. University of Kindia (GUI) 3/0 (4-14)
Group B: 1. Paulista University (BRA) 3/9 (9-0); 2. University of Bordeaux (FRA) 3/6 (4-3); 3. College of Asian Scholars 3/3 (7-6); 4. Uman State Pedagogical University (UKR) 3/0 (0-11)
Beijing Normal University (CHN)-University of Bordeaux (FRA)
Paulista University (BRA)-University of Sydney (AUS)
Watch all semifinals live on FISU.tv