Women’s World Cup – Five things you may have missed from round three

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The final round of group games has come and gone at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France. Alasdair Hooper is here with five things you might have missed from round three.

It’s all White on the night

England made history by winning all three of their World Cup group games and Ellen White has undoubtedly emerged as one of the stars of the show.

Her double against Japan now means the new Manchester City recruit has scored three goals in two games at the tournament and they have been clinical finishes.

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But one particular stat went under the radar as White became just the fourth English woman to score a brace in a World Cup match.

The other three are Gillian Coultard (Canada), Karen Farley (Nigeria) and the one and only Kelly Smith (Japan and Argentina).

Officiating controversy for Scotland

Following Scotland’s heart-breaking exit, attention was firmly on VAR, the retaken penalty and referee Hyang-ok Ri.

The official came in for a great deal of criticism after that infamous penalty. Scottish keeper Lee Alexander was adjudged to have come off her line and the resulting retake was put away by Florencia Bonsegundo.

Of course, the North Korean referee was just implementing the rules we have seen enforced throughout the competition.

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However, arguably the referee’s major error came in the lead up to the Argentinean equaliser.

Before the ill-fated penalty was conceded she allowed a free-kick to be taken before Scotland’s Fiona Brown – who was coming on as a substitute – was on the field in position. The Scots were down a player and that can always lead to panic.

As former referee Keith Hackett wrote in the Telegraph, that was really poor refereeing at a crucial time.

The World Cup of own goals

The own goal Cameroon’s Aurelle Awona scored against New Zealand equalled an unwanted World Cup record.

There have been six own goals scored already in France, which matches the record set for one tournament – the 2015 World Cup.

There are plenty more games to come and every chance that record could be broken.

The Dutch firepower

The Netherlands, reigning European champions, have impressed in France and qualified for the knockouts as winners of Group E.

Their 2-1 win over Canada shows exactly the type of quality Sarina Wiegman’s squad possesses.

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But arguably their most lethal weapon is their ruthless nature in front of goal. Out of their last seven shots on target, the Dutch have scored six goals.

Clinical goalscoring like that could play a huge part as they look to advance in this tournament.

The record-breaking Americans

The USA has been utterly lethal so far at this World Cup, with that record 13-0 win over Thailand in their opener still a remarkable scoreline.

But with their 2-0 win over Sweden, the World Cup holders managed to break another record at this tournament.

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Their tally of 18 goals has broken the record for the most goals in a group stage at a World Cup – both men’s and women’s. The record was previously held by Hungary in 1954 and Norway in 1995 (with 17 goals).

The USA are also yet to concede a goal. Who will want to face Jill Ellis’ side now?

Follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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