Argentina defeats Panama to qualify for 2019 Women's World Cup


Argentina has secured a berth in the 2019 Women's World Cup in France by defeating Panama 5-1 on aggregate in an inter-confederation playoff.

Panama needed a miracle comeback after losing 4-0 in Sarandi, Argentina, in the Nov. 8 first leg of this playoff, which pitted the fourth-placed team from the North, Central American and Caribbean qualifying region (CONCACAF) against the third-placed team from the South American qualifying region (CONMEBOL).

The hosts played with the proper sense of urgency at the beginning of Tuesday night's second-leg contest at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, attempting numerous shots before Natalia Mills thrilled the crowd with a goal past net minder Vanina Correa in the 38th minute.

In the second half, Argentina tried to preserve its aggregate lead while also looking to take advantage of scoring opportunities, while Panama continued to press forward aggressively in search of more goals.

Argentina's Mariana Larroquette missed out one chance to score at the 55-minute mark, but the visitors struck 10 minutes later when a left-footed shot from the corner by Florencia Bonsegundo sailed over goalkeeper Yenith Bailey's arms and into the right side of the goal.

The teams then remained scoreless the rest of the way, as the Albiceleste finished off their lopsided four-goal victory and booked a spot in the Women's World Cup for the first time in 12 years.

The 2019 edition of the premier event in women's soccer will be held in nine cities across France from June 7 to July 7.

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