Kenyan referee to officiate decisive Argentina fixture at Women’s World Cup

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FOOTBALL: Kenyan referee to officiate decisive Argentina fixture at Women’s World Cup

Joel Omotto 14:30 - 31.07.2023

Mary Njoroge’s second assignment at the 2023 tournament will be the Group G decider in Hamilton, New Zealand

Kenyan referee Mary Njoroge will officiate her second match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday when Argentina face Sweden at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Waikato Stadium was the venue for Njoroge’s first match at the 2023 tournament when she took charge of Portugal’s 2-0 win over Vietnam on Thursday.

Just like last week, the Kenyan will once again team up with Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, who will be the centre referee, while Queency Victoire from Mauritius will be the second assistant referee besides Njoroge. South Korea’s Yujeong Kim will be the fourth official.

Njoroge was not tested much during Thursday’s encounter which Portugal took command of from the start with Telma Encarnacao scoring the opening goal after just seven minutes before she set up Kika Nazareth for the second 14 minutes later.

The Kenyan's major call came in the first half when she flagged offside a Vietnam attacker just before Portugal scored their second goal.

The three African referees worked seamlessly and a repeat of the same will be expected on Wednesday when Sweden, who have already qualified for the Round of 16, will be seeking to win and top Group G, while Argentina are seeking a victory and hoping that South Africa and Italy draw for them to sneak through as runners-ups.

Sweden top the group with six points from two matches with Italy on three from as many games while South Africa and Argentina have one a piece. However, Italy have a -4-goal difference which means either South Africa or Argentina can seal a place in the Round of 16 if they win and outscore them.

Njoroge and Mukansanga are making a second appearance at the World Cup, after officiating at the 2019 tournament in France, while it is the first for Victoire.