What to watch for in the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament on Tuesday:
GROUP C: JAMAICA VS. AUSTRALIA
Where: Stade des Alpes in Genoble, France
Time: noon PDT
TV: FS2, Universo
The buzz: This is a matchup of teams with completely different aims. Australia needs at least a tie to strengthen its chances of advancing as a third-place team. With a victory, the Matildas — quarterfinalists in the last three tournaments — go on for sure. They’re in this position thanks to three second-half goals and a controversial VAR (video assistant referee) decision that gave them a 3-2 win over Brazil in their last match. Jamaica scored one of the biggest victories of the tournaments just by getting to France after its federation defunded the program, only to have it resurrected largely through the work of Cedella Marley, daughter of reggae great Bob Marley. The Reggae Girlz, the first Caribbean team to qualify for a Women’s World Cup, have no realistic chance of advancing: They’re winless and have been outscored 8-0. But they’d certainly like a goal and, perhaps, a point as a reminder of their historic trip to France. The only CONCACAF team to lose all three group games in a World Cup was Mexico in 1999.
ITALY VS. BRAZIL
Where: Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, France
Time: noon PDT
TV: FS1, Universo
The buzz: Unbeaten and with a +6 goal differential, Italy is already through to the second round, thanks in part to Cristiana Girelli’s hat trick against Jamaica. It will be Le Azzurre’s first trip to the round of 16 since the first Women’s World Cup in 1991. Brazil, meanwhile, has everything to play for. After losing a 2-0 halftime lead in a 3-2 loss to Australia, it needs a win or draw and a loss or draw for Australia against Jamaica to finish second in the group and assure passage to the second round. Even if Australia gets a result, Brazil could still move on with a tie or loss as a third-place team, but the scenarios get tricky there. Brazil has never lost to Italy, outscoring it 17-6 in five meetings. Moreover, Brazil hasn’t exited a Women’s World Cup in the group stage since 1995. If they do so here, it would almost certainly end the World Cup careers of Marta, Formiga and Cristiane, three of women’s soccer’s most legendary players.