Colombia and Mexico got their 2015 Women’s World Cup campaigns underway this afternoon, with both countries looking for their first victory at this level. They’re both still looking after today’s 1-1 draw.
The first half was a choppy affair, with a number of fouls breaking up the rhythm of play. By the 34th minute, there were three players in referee Therese Neguel’s book: Colombia’s Natalia Gaitan (the captain) and Orianica Velasquez, as well as Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago.
Despite the stop-and-start nature of the game, there were moments of good play as well. Renae Cueller and Charlyn Corral were a handful for Colombia’s defenders, with the Mexicans dominating possession in the early going.
In the 12th minute, Colombia thought they had scored on a counterattack against the run of play, but the would-be strike was correctly disallowed for offside, leaving the South Americans still waiting for their first Women’s World Cup goal.
When the breakthrough did come, it came for Mexico. Verónica Pérez finished off a corner kick, and although a scramble in the goalmouth sent the ball back into the field of play, the goal was awarded with the help of goal-line technology, present in the Women’s World Cup for the first time.
That lead lasted until late in the game, but the Mexicans couldn’t find a second goal to definitively kill off the game, which kept the Colombians in it. And they didn’t drop their heads after falling behind; they hit the woodwork and had a would-be equalizer disallowed for a supposed handball in the buildup. All of their pressing finally paid off in the 81st minute, when Daniela Montoya sent a fantastic strike past Santiago to make it 1-1.
The game continued to be played at a furious pace, with Mexico trying to regain their lead, and the game ended in controversy when a would-be stoppage-time goal by Charlyn Corral was disallowed due to a supposed foul in the buildup.
The draw gives Colombia and Mexico each one point, which keeps them behind France but ahead of England. Mexico’s next match comes Saturday against England.
Colombia: Derly Stefany Castaño, Carolina Arias, Angela Clavijo, Nataly Arias, Orianica Velasquez, Daniela Montoya, Natalia Gaitan, Diana Ospina (Yisela Cuesta 87′), Yoreli Rincon, Lady Andrade (Tatiana Ariza 78′), Catalina Usme (Ingrid Vidal 78′).
Mexico: Cecilia Santiago, Kenti Robles, Christina Murillo, Alicia Garcíamendez, Valeria Miranda, Stephany Mayor, Verónica Pérez, Nayeli Rangel, Mónica Ocampo (Fabiola Ibarra 86′), Renae Cuellar (Jennifer Ruíz 79′), Charlyn Corral.
Group Standings – Group F