Last-gasp Colombia stun Germany as teen sensation Caicedo stars

Germany suffered their first Women’s World Cup group stage defeat since 1995 as new Group H leaders Colombia beat them 2-1 in Sydney thanks to Manuela Vanegas’ injury-time header, which followed a stunner from Linda Caicedo.

The defender headed in to settle a thrilling game and put her country on the brink of advancing to the knockout stage.
Alexandra Popp had scored an 89th-minute penalty and seemed to have earned two-time champions Germany a 1-1 draw.

But Vanegas came up with a late twist to spark huge celebrations from Colombia fans, who dominated the Sydney Football Stadium crowd.

The Germans thought they had secured a point after Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez was penalised for bringing down Lena Oberdorf in the box.

Popp, who scored twice in her country’s 6-0 rout of Morocco in their opening game of the tournament, fired straight down the middle to level the game.

Alexandra Popp's penalty equalised for Germany
Alexandra Popp’s penalty equalised for Germany

That had disappointed the crowd, who passionately cheered Colombia on throughout and erupted after Caicedo’s goal in the 52nd minute.

The Real Madrid teenager had suffered a health scare earlier in the week, but produced a moment magic to score her second of the tournament.

It was all the more special coming after she had dropped to the ground holding her chest in training during the week.

Linda Caicedo celebrates scoring against Germany
Linda Caicedo celebrates he stunning opening goal against Germany

Caicedo scored from distance in the 2-0 win against South Korea on Tuesday. But while that goal involved an error from goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul, on this occasion it was all about individual brilliance.

Collecting the ball from just inside the area after a corner, she worked her way into space by bewildering two German defenders in a fast-stepping move before bending a shot into the top corner.

Caicedo, followed by her teammates, charged toward the corner to get closer to the crowd as it went wild.

Germany have never failed to advance from the group stage of the Women’s World Cup. They are still expected to beat South Korea in their last game of Group H, but will likely have to settle for second place.

The runners-up at last year’s Euros should have been ahead in the first half when Popp was guilty of missing the target with a volley from close range shortly before the break.

Earlier, Lina Magull had the chance to test Perez from close range, but mis-kicked and the opportunity was wasted.

Vanegas celebrates her late goal against Germany
Vanegas celebrates her late goal against Germany

What’s next?

Colombia play Morocco in Perth on Thursday at 11am, while Germany wrap up their group stage campaign against South Korea in Brisbane at the same time.

What is the Women’s World Cup schedule?

The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week period finishing on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.