Two-time world champions Germany were shocked by Colombia as Linda Caicedo opened the scoring and Manuela Vanega supplied the game-winner in injury time

What it means.

Linda Caicedo opened the scoring against Germany as Colombia claimed a 2-1 victory to sit top of Group H

Germany’s Alexandra Popp was the striker expected to wreak her usual composed havoc at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening’s final World Cup match.

But it was Colombia’s 18-year-old Linda Caicedo who provided the world with a demonstration in clinical ruthlessness - and just days after collapsing.

After a first half in which an undaunted and physical Colombia duly rattled the two-time world champions, the Real Madrid forward opened the scoring with a peach of a goal – evading Svenja Huth just outside the penalty area on the left before dipping inside Sara Däbritz and unfurling a rising curler into the right side netting.

The technique was exquisite, the composure mind-melting and the deja vu impossible to ignore.

Only a week earlier, Caicedo, on her World Cup debut, had jinked in from the left against South Korea, firing her shot through the gloves of Yoon Young-geul to earn Colombia their second-ever win at the Women’s World Cup.

But it hasn’t been without trials and tribulations. The teen sensation collapsed just days ago in training and was diagnosed with cancer aged 15.

Another victory via a sublime Caicedo goal seemed destined for Colombia - until the South American side looked doomed to learn a valuable but cruel lesson in the whims of international football as Popp drew Germany level with a penalty just four-minutes from time.

But a header from defender Manuela Vanega in the dying seconds of injury time helped Colombia claim the shock of the tournament.

Linda Caicedo's goal against Germany Linda Caicedo’s goal against Germany (


Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

For Colombia, the victory means six points from six to see them sit top of Group H. A mere point is needed over Morocco in their final group stage match to secure an historic berth in the tournament’s Round of 16.

But the victory also once again sees the world entranced by Colombia’s youthful and effervescent forward, whose journey so far includes a professional and international debut at the age of 14, a cancer diagnosis at 15, a move to one of football’s Spanish behemoths at 17 and now, an epochal defeat of a European great at 18.

Colombia were very nearly forced to reckon with Germany without Caicedo after she collapsed during a training session earlier in the week.

Three years after Caicedo’s ovarian cancer diagnosis, teammates, fans and media feared the worst. But a Colombian spokesperson downplayed the moment, which was captured by broadcast media in attendance who were then asked to leave.

“Linda is very tired,” a Colombian FA medical staff member said.

“What happened was just a symptom of all the stress and physical demands. She is well and all is back to normal.”

And while Caicedo showed on Sunday that worries were unnecessary, the moment served as a gentle reminder of the weight the teenager is ostensibly carrying upon her shoulders.

For a country who only just qualified for a first Women’s World Cup in 2011, Caicedo has become the poster girl for the rise of women’s football in the country. Her goal against South Korea saw her become the second-youngest South American player to score a goal in the tournament’s history, behind Marta.

Last year England’s Lionesses conquered Europe, this year they are out to rule the world!

Sarina Wiegman takes her team Down Under this summer as one of the favourites to lift the World Cup.

And The Mirror have produced the perfect companion for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.


With interviews, player features, a spotlight on the England squad, the stars to watch out for and the lowdown on all 32 teams which make up the eight groups, it is the ideal competition guide.

And to help you roar on the Lionesses, there is a wallchart with all the fixtures, kick-off times and the road to the final.

Order your copy now HERE - Only £3

Postage and packaging apply.

The comparisons with the Brazil legend are plentiful and tempting, and yet difficult to file under hyperbole given the player’s skillset.

Before Colombia’s second group stage match against Germany, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes admitted on ITV, in no uncertain terms, that she and the WSL reigning champions had looked at Caicedo as a future prospect before her move to Real Madrid.

After Sunday’s performance, the hype, queue of potential suitors, will only augment. There is little suggestion that Caicedo will wilt under the pressure.

On a day in which one of the world’s greatest strikers in Popp and a bevy of elite German stars struggled to find poise, Caicedo was singular in her near tranquillity as she harried Germany’s defence with teammate Mayra Ramírez.

The Germans will not be alone in becoming one of Caicedo’s victims. At 18, the list looks likely to run long and Colombia seem possessed with a desire to run deep into the tournament. With Caicedo on song, the possibility is high.