The Women’s World Cup recap: Securing Spots

This is a recap of Tuesday’s games in the Women’s World Cup.

Ecuador and Japan 0-1

I would have expected to see Japan get a few more goals, but just the one was enough to put them at the very top of Group C. Ecuador has had a rough tournament and we say bye to them now, but to end on arguably their best game of the tournament maybe will help soften the blow. Japan controlled the match and had 20 shots (only eight on goal) but 66% of the possession. The one goal came very early, in the fifth minute as Yuki Ogimi was able to knock one in despite strong pressure from the defense and a crossbar that insisted on getting involved.

Switzerland and Cameroon 1-2

I’d call this the most exciting game of the day as Cameroon win again to take second in Group C. Statistically the match was incredibly even, but Cameroon found the net twice, with goals from Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Madeline Ngono Mani. The Swiss looked downtrodden as they couldn’t make it even, their lone goal from Ana Maria Crnogorcevic. This game leaves the Swiss wondering if their three points will be enough to get them through, and I don’t expect that they will be.

Nigeria and USA 0-1

This match was closer than most of us hoped it would be, but it was enough for the US to win the Group of Death. The USWNT came out firing, with Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan paired up front. This was the team we’ve been missing. Unfortunately, it didn’t last too long.  They fell flat after the first 20 minutes or so, and Nigeria started to look a bit threatening. Luckily Captain Wambach came in with a perfect volley off a Megan Rapinoe corner just before halftime. From there, the game was a physical one, Nigeria appeared to be a bit frustrated, earning several yellow cards, including a soft red card and subsequent sending off Sarah Nnodim. The US should have scored again, especially playing up a player, but there’s clearly still work to be done there. We say goodbye to Nigeria as they finish fourth in the Group D, though it certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort.

Australia and Sweden 1-1

The Matildas took on Sweden to fight for a confirmed move to the next round, and Australia came out of it with that security, despite finishing with a 1-1 tie. Lisa De Vanna, quickly becoming one of the top scorers of the tournament despite a tough group stage, showed off her speed to score for Australia. A ball sent over the top, nearly from her own 18-yard box, fell perfectly and was cooly finished for the first goal at minute five. The Swedes responded shortly after at minute 15, with a sneaky shot from the top of the box to the near, lower corner of the goal from Sofia Jakobsson. From there, the match was quiet, with no bookings and no more goals. The match leaves Sweden to wonder about their fate until the groups are settled at the end of the day today, as they stand in third place with three points.

Today (Last Day of Group Stage)

Mexico and France 1pm PT

This game means a lot for France as they may need a win to move on, though a tie leaves them with a small chance still. With a shocking loss to Colombia over the weekend, they’ll have something to prove. Mexico has yet to find a win, but unless the French are sulking from Saturday, I don’t think they’ll find one here. If France wins, they secure they’re advancement from Group F.

England and Colombia 1pm PT

This is my game to watch for today. Colombia has been full of surprises and could finish the group stage undefeated if they can at least tie the Three Lionesses. With a tie they secure their advancement, while England needs a win here and preferably by a few goals, to put themselves ahead of France. Even with a loss, Colombia will likely advance with their four points in hand, but they’d love to come out of Group F at the top.

Costa Rica and Brazil 4pm PT

Brazil’s experience will win here I think. They’ve looked confident their last two games, both wins, and have yet to be scored on. Costa Rica will want to secure at least a tie if they hope to move on, Otherwise, the winner of Spain v Korea will take second in the group.

Korea Republic and Spain 4pm PT

Both of these teams sit at one point apiece. Confidence may be low and desperation might set in so this match has the potential to get physical, even unintentionally. I’ve expected more from Korea this tournament, though they improved from game one to game two. Maybe game three will bring them their first win, ushering them through to the next round.

 

End of Groups A, B, C, & D

Confirmed through to next round:

Canada – 1A

China PR – 2A

Germany – 1B

Norway – 2B

Japan – 1C

Cameroon – 2C

USA – 1D

Australia – 2D

 

Up in the air:

Netherlands – 3A

Thailand – 3B

Switzerland – 3C

Sweden – 3D

 

Knocked out:

New Zealand – 4A

Côte d’Ivoire – 4B

Ecuador – 4C

Nigeria – 4D