Viewers in the UK will be able to watch the entire Women’s World Cup for the first time after the BBC announced it will broadcast every game.
The tournament, taking place in Canada next year, will see the England Women’s team challenge the likes of Germany, USA and Brazil. It follows the successful coverage of England’s friendly with Germany last month, which had a peak audience of over 1 million viewers and a record attendance of 45,619.
Newcastle United Women’s keeper Laura Wareham’s career is in doubt after she broke her neck for the second time – despite being just 21. An x-ray revealed she had suffered the injury during the Magpies’ 3-2 defeat to Bradford and even continued playing before she was eventually substituted. The youngster is keeping positive, however, saying the recurrence of her injury “doesn’t scare” her.
Player of the week: Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
After playing out an evenly-matched 1-1 draw in Den Haag, the round two of Italy versus the Netherlands was typically cagey. With a World Cup spot up for grabs, the stakes were inevitably high and the atmosphere was tense in Verona on Thursday. With both sides lacking inspiration, teenage star Miedema, the top scorer in World Cup qualifying, scored twice for the visitors to book the Netherland’s place in next year’s finals for the first time.
Moment of the week
Even the most committed women’s football followers won’t have heard of Stephanie Roche. But after this week, you will. The Irish striker, who now plies her trade for French outfit ASPTT Albi, thundered home a stunning volley while playing for previous club Peamount United in November last year.
Her strike would’ve perhaps gone under the radar but it caught the eye of Fifa’s Puskas Award panel after going viral on YouTube, and they announced on Tuesday that her incredible effort made the final three shortlist alongside James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie. After seeing Roche’s goal, there can only be one winner.
"Most of our games aren't filmed so I was lucky enough in that respect. My manager Eileen Gleeson got the DVD off the Wexford Youths manager, then edited the clip and put it up on YouTube and it all went from there." Stephanie Roche explains how she became an unlikely nominee for the Puskas Award.
Is stat true?
16 – The number of goals scored by the Netherlands’ Vivianne Miedema in just 13 World Cup qualifying matches.
Look out for…
Saturday: The World Cup 2015 draw is held in Ottawa, Canada (starts 5pm UK time)