Who Will Progress from the Women’s World Cup Quarter Finals?
We are now at the critical phase of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Over the last few weeks, a total of 24 teams have battled it out through the Group Stage and then a Round of 16 to whittle it down to the eight remaining teams in the tournament.
Both the hosts, France and the holders, the United States remain in the competition but one will be eliminated after the quarterfinals as the two have been drawn together in what is the plum tie of the round. England’s Lionesses hopes remain strong as they face their quarterfinal with Norway on Thursday evening, while the other quarterfinalis see Germany face Sweden and Italy taking on the European Champions, the Netherlands.
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It is fair to say that the women’s World Cup has been a huge success with generally excellent attendance at the games, particularly in the north of the country and around Paris where the hosts have been based. There have been moments of controversy, notably with VAR involved and most obviously in the England v Cameroon Round of 16 game, where Cameroon have since been charged following their players behaviour following VAR decisions in that game.
Despite this, the games have been hugely entertaining in general and the standard of play excellent as the tournament continues to grow and appeal to an increasing number of fans of both sexes.
Let’s now preview each of the four quarterfinals coming up over the next few days and for each team, we will bring you details on how they reached the quarterfinal stage.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinals
Norway v England
- Thursday 27th June – 8pm Kick Off
- Stade Ocean, Le Havre
- Matchday 1 – Norway 3-0 Nigeria (Reiten 17, Utland 34, Ohale OH 37)
- Matchday 2 – France 2-1 Norway (Renard OG 54)
- Matchday 3 – South Korea 1-2 Norway (Hansen 5 (pen), Herlovsen 51 (pen))
- Round of 16 – Norway 1-1 Australia (Herlovsen 31) – Norway win 4-1 on penalties
- Matchday 1 – England 2-1 Scotland (Parris 14 (pen), White 40)
- Matchday 2 – England 1-0 Argentina (Taylor 61)
- Matchday 3 – Japan 0-2 England (White 14,84)
- Round of 16 – England 3-0 Cameroon (Houghton 14, White 45+4, Greenwood 58)
Norway have won the Women’s World Cup previously, beating Germany in Stockholm in 1995. Along with the United States, Japan and Germany, they are the only teams ever to lift the trophy. England are hoping to add their name to the list and Phil Neville’s Lionesses started the tournament as one of the favourites and after four wins from four games, they look to have been well-priced by the bookmakers.
However, in recent games, notably against Japan and Cameroon, England have looked suspect defensively and with two key first-choice centre backs, captain Steph Houghton and Millie Bright, laid low with a virus, it could make that England defence even weaker.
Norway are a strong side but they are not as strong as they were when winning the trophy in the 1990s. England beat Norway in the last World Cup Finals in Canada and I’m backing the Lionesses to do the same again this time around too.
France v United States
- Friday 28th June – 8pm Kick Off
- Parc des Princes, Paris
- Matchday 1 – France 4-0 South Korea (Le Sommer 9, Renard 39, 45+2, Henry 85)
- Matchday 2 – France 2-1 Norway (Gauvin 46, Le Sommer (pen) 72)
- Matchday 3 – Nigeria 0-1 France (Renard 79 (pen))
- Round of 16 – France 2-1 Brazil aet (Gauvin 52, Henry 106)
United States’ Results
- Matchday 1 – USA 13-0 Thailand (Morgan 12,53,74,81,87, Lavelle 20,56, Horan 32, Mewis 50,54, Rapinoe 79, Pugh 84, Lloyd 90+2)
- Matchday 2 – USA 3-0 Chile (Lloyd 11,35, Ertz 26)
- Matchday 3 – Sweden 0-2 USA (Horan 3, Andersson 50 OG)
- Round of 16 – Spain 1-2 USA (Rapinoe 7 (pen), 76 (pen))
The three-time World Cup winners the United States face their sternest challenge yet as they take on hosts France in Paris in what is sure to be one of the most dramatic and engaging games of this summer’s World Cup Finals.
The hosts have won all four of their games, although they required extra time to beat Brazil but it is fair to say that other than their opening win over South Korea, they have looked a little laboured at times and have been prone to a number of defensive errors.
The USA have been very strong, opening up with a 13-0 win over hapless Thailand before securing solid wins over Sweden and Chile. They were pushed hard by Spain in the Round of 16 though and needed two penalties to beat the Spaniards. This is going to be a really close call and it may well even go down to penalties to decide the winner, but I just have a sneaky feeling that it could be the home France fans celebrating on Friday night. For
Italy v Netherlands
- Saturday 29th June – 2pm Kick Off
- Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
- Matchday 1 – Australia 1-2 Italy (Bonansea 56, 90+5)
- Matchday 2 – Jamaica 0-5 Italy (Girelli 12 (pen), 25, 46, Galli 71.81)
- Matchday 3 – Italy 0-1 Brazil
- Round of 16 – Italy 2-0 China (Giacinti 15, Galli 49)
- Matchday 1 – New Zealand 0-1 Netherlands (Roord 90+2)
- Matchday 2 – Netherlands 3-1 Cameroon (Miedema 41,85, Bloodworth 48)
- Matchday 3 – Netherlands 2-1 Canada (Dekker 34, Beerensteyn 75)
- Round of 16 – Netherlands 2-1 Japan (Martens 17, 90 (pen))
For me, I think of the eight remaining teams in this tournament, Italy and the Netherlands have been the least impressive of the eight. That’s despite the Netherlands being European Champions, while Italy have improved greatly.
That said, I felt the Netherlands were extremely fortunate to beat Japan, who had absolutely no luck in that game with the Dutch, while Italy made heavy weather of beating what was a toothless China side in the Round of 16 and whoever wins this game is going to have to step up their performances a great deal for any potential semifinal opponent.
Of the two teams, I feel the Netherlands are the better side and they also have more potential matchwinners, but this is another game that I feel will be tight, although I do think the Dutch will snatch it, as they so often have in this tournament, late on in the game.
Germany v Sweden
- Saturday 29th June – 5.30pm Kick Off
- Roazhon Park, Rennes
- Matchday 1 – Germany 1-0 China (Gwinn 66)
- Matchday 2 – Germany 1-0 Spain (Dabritz 42)
- Matchday 3 – South Africa 0-4 Germany (Leupolz 14, Dabritz 29, Popp 40, Magull 58)
- Round of 16 – Germany 3-0 Nigeria (Popp 20, Dabritz 27 (pen), Schuller 82)
- Matchday 1 – Chile 0-2 Sweden (Asilani 83, Janogy 90+4)
- Matchday 2 – Sweden 5-1 Thailand (Sembrandt 6, Asilani 19, Rolfo 42, Hurtig 81, Rubensson 90 (pen))
- Matchday 3 – Sweden 0-2 United States
- Round of 16 – Sweden 1-0 Canada (Blackstenius 55)
These two sides look well matched on Paper, although it is the Germans that have the advantage in form heading into this clash in Rennes. The Swedes have lost already to the United States whereas Germany have won all four of their games and are yet to concede a goal and it is that rock solid defence which will likely be the key factor here.
The Swedes don’t concede many as they showed in their narrow win over Canada, but the better teams can create chances against them and Germany are certainly one of the better sides in this tournament and could be a good bet to reach the final, especially if they can continue their rock solid defensive performances.
Sweden will battle hard and I don’t see this game having many goals but I feel those that are scored will more likely be for Germany and as such, they will be the ones moving into the semifinals.