Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.

Today’s top World Cup news: Marta’s sixth World Cup ends in group stage

A legendary World Cup career came to an end Wednesday, as Marta and Brazil bowed out in the group stage in a scoreless draw with Jamaica. She leaves her final World Cup as the top goalscorer in tournament history.

Marta nearly added another Wednesday in her first start of the tournament for Brazil. She came inches from finding the back of the net in the fifth minute.

Ultimately, though, Brazil fell short, marking the first time since 1995 that the team has failed to advance out of the group stage. In contrast, Jamaica earned its first trip to the knockout rounds. Marta and Jamaica’s Khadija “Bunny” Shaw shared a moment after the match in a symbolic passing of the guard.

And Marta herself issued a call to action in a passionate postgame interview.

“Continue supporting women’s football,” she said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play in another World Cup… Hugely grateful. … But for (my teammates) it’s not over, for Brazil and the world, continue to support. For Marta, that is the last World Cup. For me, that is the end, but it’s just the beginning for the others.”

The 37-year-old forward won’t be retiring from the game just yet, but ahead of the tournament she said that “we have to understand that a time comes for us to prioritize other things.”

She not only stands as the top goalscorer in tournament history but also the first player to score in five consecutive World Cups, though she did not score in this one.

“I knew that she was big, she’s a famous player,” Brazil coach Pia Sundhage had said before the game. “[But I] couldn’t even imagine how big she is in Brazil. … I get very emotional just being around such a good player. Not only what she’s going to do tomorrow, but what she’s done for so many years and been a fantastic role model.”

Today’s top highlight: Bunny Shaw and Jamaica celebrate knockout round berth

After crowdfunding their way to the World Cup, Jamaica will advance to the knockout rounds for the first time. The unforgettable moment was celebrated by the players and coaches after Wednesday’s draw with Brazil to close out the group stage.

“This is one of the best days I’ve ever had in my life,” Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson said. “To see a country like Jamaica be able to do this, it’s unbelievable. The girls are doing it for the country, the country should be proud.

“We had resilience, fight. We are going into a war and we need to be ready,” he added. “And it was a war, and we stayed in the battle.”

Today’s results:

  • Sweden 2, Argentina 0
  • South Africa 3, Italy 2
  • France 6, Panama 3
  • Jamaica 0, Brazil 0

More World Cup news to know:

  • Marta Cox scored first against France on a banger, but it didn’t take long for Les Bleues to get going – particularly Kadidiatou Diani, who notched a hat trick for her first goals of the tournament. In the end, France put up six goals despite resting some of their big-name players.
  • The USWNT will face Sweden, which won Group G and maintained its perfect World Cup record with a 2-0 win over Argentina. The last time these two teams met resulted in a 3-0 loss for the USWNT at the Tokyo Olympics. Still, World Cup history favors the USWNT, which holds a 4-1-1 record against Sweden in World Cup competition.

Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.

Today’s top World Cup news: England’s injury troubles mount

An early goal from Lauren James proved the winner for England in Friday’s 1-0 defeat of Denmark. Yet while the win advances the Lionesses to the knockout stage, they may have to move forward without star midfielder Keira Walsh.

Walsh exited the match on a stretcher after sustaining what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the 35th minute. She twisted awkwardly while trying to intercept a pass and could be seen telling team medical staff: “I’ve done my knee.”

The Barcelona midfielder has been key to England’s success over the past year, including in the team’s run to the 2022 Euros title.

“Everything came through Keira,” former England striker Ellen White told the BBC. “There wasn’t a plan B. I dreaded to think of the idea of us ever losing her because she was one of our best players. Beth Mead was scoring all the goals but all of our play came through Keira. She was the key cog, everything moved through her. I just don’t know who England are going to have now in that 6 [defensive midfield position], or even potential double 6, role.”

The Lionesses already had been decimated with injuries in the lead-up to the tournament. Beth Mead and Leah Williamson are out with ACL tears, while Fran Kirby is also missing the World Cup with an injury. Earlier this month, Walsh had told the PA news agency that an injury was “a massive worry” every time she stepped onto the field.

“Look at the resources the men have as well, I don’t think that’s available to us and we are being asked to play close to what they play in a season now without the kind of resources behind it,” she said. “The medical teams, they work so hard but it’s impossible to keep everybody fresh all the time and we’re playing so many games and I think – with the introduction of the Nations League as well – it’s going to be difficult and you see how many ACL injuries there have been and how many players are getting injured.

“I would be lying if I say it’s not a worry for me every time I go on the pitch that I’m going to get injured next.”

Following the win, England manager Sarina Wiegman wouldn’t give any information on the injury.

“Of course I’m concerned because she couldn’t walk off the pitch but we don’t know yet so we can’t make any assumptions,” she said. “Let’s wait until we have a diagnosis then I can tell you.”

Today’s top highlight: Argentina scores twice in five minutes to save draw

After South Africa took a two-goal lead in the 66th minute, all signs pointed to South Africa taking home its first World Cup win. But a Sophia Braun strike in the 74th minute provided a spark for Argentina, and Romina Nuñéz struck in the 79th minute to tie the score at 2-2.

While the two sides played hard in the final minutes, neither team could find the back of the net again. Both Argentina and South Africa are still looking for their first-ever wins. Argentina is just the second team to have multiple matches in which they’ve come back from a two-plus goal deficit and not lost, joining Nigeria.

Today’s results:

  • Argentina 2, South Africa 2
  • England 1, Denmark 0
  • China 1, Haiti 0

More World Cup news to know:

  • South Africa coach Desiree Ellis was not happy with her team for letting a two-goal lead slip away against Argentina. “It is fantastic we got our first point but three would have been better, it’s like you hand me a chocolate and then take it away, and I love chocolate,” she said.
  • Zhang Rui was sent off with a red card in China’s 1-0 win against Haiti. The game stayed tied until the 74th minute, when Wang Shuang buried the penalty kick to deliver the game-winning goal. China now is tied with Denmark for the runner-up spot in Group D, with Denmark holding the tiebreaker following a 1-0 win earlier in the group stage.