The thrills, shocks and many brilliant moments of the World Cup in pictures

By Sports Desk August 19, 2023

The Women’s World Cup has offered thrills, shocks and brilliant individual moments during the biggest competition in its 32-year history.

The tournament, which began on July 20, has seen 32 nations compete in Australia and New Zealand, with many writing their names into women’s football folklore.

Only two teams remain as either England or Spain will lift the World Cup for the first time in Sydney on Sunday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the pictures which have captured the essence of the World Cup.

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  • France doing 'all they can' to ensure Mbappe can play against the Netherlands France doing 'all they can' to ensure Mbappe can play against the Netherlands

    Didier Deschamps says "everything is going in the right direction" when it comes to Kylian Mbappe's fitness.

    Mbappe sustained a broken nose during France's 1-0 win over Austria on Monday, casting his participation in the rest of Les Bleus' Euro 2024 campaign into doubt.

    However, in a positive move, the 25-year-old returned to light training, while wearing a protective bandage, on Wednesday.

    And ahead of France's clash with the Netherlands, Deschamps was optimistic that his captain will be available.

    "Everything is going in the right direction after this major shock he had, with the consequences, of course," Deschamps said on Thursday.

    "Yesterday, as you could see, he was able to go out and do some activity. That will be the case tonight too.

    "So it has evolved in the right direction. We'll do everything we can to ensure that he can be available tomorrow."

    If he indeed does play in Leipzig, then Mbappe will have to wear a protective mask.

    Deschamps added: "Kylian will be wearing a mask yes, you don't really need to know the details about this mask."

    Antoine Griezmann joined Deschamps in offering a positive update.

    "Kylian is doing very well, his nose has deflated a little. We will see until the last moment, depending on his feelings," Griezmann said.

    Mbappe had four shots without scoring in their 1-0 win over Austria, taking his total to 18 attempts without scoring at the Euros, the most of any Frenchman since 1980. By contrast, at the World Cup he has scored 12 goals in 14 matches with a 31% shot conversion rate.

    He will surely be extra eager to return to action given his record against the Dutch.

    The Netherlands are Mbappe's favourite opponent – he has scored six goals in five matches against them, more than against any other side in his international career with France. In fact, his first ever goal for Les Bleus came against the Netherlands in August 2017.

  • Pickford becomes England's record appearance maker at major tournaments Pickford becomes England's record appearance maker at major tournaments

    Jordan Pickford will become England's leading appearance maker at major international tournaments against Denmark at Euro 2024. 

    The Everton goalkeeper will make his 21st appearance for the Three Lions at a major international competition in Frankfurt, surpassing Peter Shilton's record. 

    Pickford made his debut for his country in 2017 in a draw with Germany at Wembley, and was included in Gareth Southgate's 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

    The 30-year-old has since established himself as England's number one, and has kept 10 clean sheets for his nation at major tournaments, the latest of which coming last Sunday against Serbia. 

    Pickford enjoyed an excellent start to his Euro 2024, completing 25 of his 41 passes against Serbia with a pass accuracy of 61 per cent. 

     

  • Slovenia 1-1 Serbia: Jovic denies Dragons historic win with final kick Slovenia 1-1 Serbia: Jovic denies Dragons historic win with final kick

    Luka Jovic's last-second header denied Slovenia a first-ever win at the Euros as Serbia snatched a 1-1 draw in Munich on Thursday.

    It looked like the Dragons were going to hold out for a victory after Zan Karnicnik's strike, but Serbia's last push for an equaliser eventually proved fruitful.

    After a bright start, Slovenia came closest to taking the lead when Timi Max Elsnik struck the post with a powerful shot before Benjamin Sesko lifted the rebound over the bar.

    Aleksandar Mitrovic endured a frustrating game, being denied by two big saves from Jan Oblak either side of half-time after the goalkeeper had previously kept out Dusan Vlahovic's glancing header.

    Karnicnik eventually took matters into his own hands, starting his run at right-back before switching it out to Elsnik, continuing his run to scuff a volley past Predrag Rajkovic from close range.

    Mitrovic had the golden chance to equalise for Serbia just moments later, meeting a cross on the half-volley, but the slightest of touches from the Slovenia goalscorer sent his effort against the bar.

    In the dying seconds of the game, Serbia won another corner, and this time, Jovic rose highest inside a crowded six-yard box to thump a header past Oblak for a valuable late equaliser in Group C. 

    Data Debrief: Impact sub Jovic to the rescue

    Jovic came off the bench in the 64th minute and only managed seven touches in the game. He will not care though, as the one that counted got the winner.

    His goal is the latest result-altering goal in a Euros match of all-time (exlcuding extra time), with his equaliser timed at exactly 95 minutes.

    Slovenia have scored six goals at the European Championships, with Karnicnik's strike their fourth against Serbia/Yugoslavia in the competition. Indeed, the Dragons have only ever taken the lead twice in a Euros game, and both times it has been against Serbia/Yugoslavia (also in 2000 in a 3-3 draw).

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