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SPORTS | 08-07-2023 16:37

Argentina unveils Women’s World Cup squad, aims for second round

Albiceleste eyeing a first win and qualification for the knockout stage at the upcoming FIFA’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Argentina have unveiled their 23-woman squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with the national team aiming to record their first win at FIFA’s premier female football tournament and targeting qualification for the knockout stage.

There were few surprises as women's national football team coach Germán Portanova announced her squad last Saturday, though goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros will miss out after fracturing her left hand.

Palmeiras striker Yamila Rodriguez is the team’s figurehead and star, with the Albiceleste’s hopes in large part riding on her form in Oceania. 

The tournament runs from July 20 to August 20. It will be Argentina’s fourth appearance at a Women’s World Cup and its second in a row. 

The national side has never progressed to the knockout stage. After drawing two matches in the France 2019 tournament, the Albiceleste’s female footballers are eyeing a first win and qualification for the second round.

"We want to qualify. The goal is to win a game, to get through to the next round. Well, we'll see if we can achieve that. That's what we're aiming for," said goalkeeper Vanina Correa.

Speaking to the press at AFA’s headquarters in Ezeiza, Correa said she took great pride in “representing the country.”

Drawn in Group G, Argentina will be based in New Zealand for the first stage of the tournament. The Albiceleste open their campaign against Italy on July 24 at Eden Park in Auckland. They then travel to Forsyth Barr in Dunedin to face South Africa on July 27, before a crunch final match against Sweden at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

"We're focusing on what the first game with Italy is, how they play, cutting their supply, but also how we're going to attack. The most important thing is to focus on ourselves," said striker Mariana Larroquette.

The forward insisted that Argentina faces “difficult games,” but she said the most important thing is to get a result in the opening match. 

“The important thing today is the first game. We are also analysing the other opponents, but I think the first step is the most important,” said Larroquette.

Argentina’s players hope to demonstrate the growth of the women’s game locally by performing on the national stage. The game went professional in 2019 with the creation of the first national competition. 

"I think there has been an important growth in these four years. We are better prepared because each of our clubs has improved, both the clubs in Argentina, not to mention those [who play] abroad," enthused Miriam Mayorga, a doctor and footballer who is a stalwart of the Boca Juniors defence.

Mayorga said that "the fact that each player is growing as an individual obviously makes the national team more competitive.”

Argentina’s national women’s team is due to play a final friendly against Peru on July 14, in San Nicolas, Buenos Aires Province, before travelling to Oceania.

 

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Vanina Correa (Rosario Central), Lara Esponda (River Plate), Abigail Chaves (Huracán).

Defenders: Adriana Sachs (Santos, Brasil), Eliana Stábile (Santos), Julieta Cruz (Boca Juniors), Aldana Cometti (Madrid C.F.F., Spain), Sophia Braun (León, México), Miriam Mayorga (Boca), Gabriela Chávez (Estudiantes de Buenos Aires).

Midfielders: Vanesa Santana (free agent), Romina Núñez (UAI Urquiza), Daiana Falfán (UAI Urquiza), Dalila Ippolito (Parma, Italia), Lorena Benítez (Palmeiras), Camila Gómez Ares (Universidad de Concepción, Chile), Estefanía Banini (Atlético Madrid, Spain).

Forwards: Paulina Gramaglia (Red Bull Bragantino, Brazil), Yamila Rodríguez (Palmeiras, Brazil), Florencia Bonsegundo (Madrid C.F.F.), Mariana Larroquette (Orlando Pride, United States), Chiara Singarella (University of Alabama, Estados Unidos), Érica Lonigro (Rosario Central).

 

– TIMES/AFP

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