Twelve years on from their last appearance at the Women’s World Cup, Argentina claimed a historic draw against 2011 champions Japan to begin their campaign in Paris.
Argentina have never won a point at the World Cup and were huge outsiders this year having lost all six previous matches, including a 6-0 defeat to Japan in their first appearance in 2003, and yet Carlos Borello’s team produced an impressive defensive display to keep out the World Cup runners up four years ago.
Japan understandably dominated possession but struggled to fashion any clear chances and test goalkeeper Vanina Correa as Argentina scrapped for everything.
Captain Estefanía Banini showed flashes of her talent wearing the famous Argentina number ten during a deserved Player of the Match performance but was isolated with Lyon striker Soledad Jaimes and as such the Albiceleste were unable to pose much of a threat of their own.
Given the lack of support that women’s football has received in Argentina the result is a remarkable achievement and the reaction from the players as the full time whistle was blown proved just how much this meant.
Argentina face another huge test against England on Friday after Phil Neville’s side defeated Scotland but boosted by this historic result will feel that anything is possible.