Japan – Sweden – France… The Women’s World Cup quarter-finals are here, and we’ve got the lowdown.
There were no upsets. European powerhouses quell African upsets as ‘favourites’ Japan, ‘hosts’ Australia and ‘dark horses’ 온라인카지노 Colombia enter the quarter-final race at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023.
Spain-Netherlands and Japan-Sweden will face off on 11 November, followed by Australia-France and England-Colombia on 12 November to determine the semi-finalists. There are five European nations, two from Asia and one from South America.
One team to watch out for is Japan (11th in the FIFA rankings). The only other quarter-finalist to have won the tournament (2011), Japan dominated the group stage, keeping three clean sheets in three matches before going on a four-match winning streak, including a 3-1 victory over Norway (12th) in the round of 16. Their firepower is particularly fearsome, with Miyazawa Hinata (5 goals – Mainabi Sendai) scoring the most goals (14) through the group stage and round of 16. Despite the disadvantage of being physically weaker than their European and African counterparts, they have emerged as ‘favourites’ thanks to their solid defence and efficient attack.
Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt, right, competes for an aerial ball during the round of 16 women’s soccer match against the United States at the 2023 Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup at Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday. Melbourne=AP
Japan’s opponents, Sweden (third), are also in form. They thrashed Italy 5-0 in the group stage and then knocked out the United States on penalties in the round of 16 as the FIFA No. 1s sought to become the first team to win three consecutive Women’s World Cup titles. Sweden were also a force to be reckoned with, winning all three of their group games by a combined nine goals. The quarter-final between Japan and Sweden is a de facto final.
England (fourth), France (fifth) and the Netherlands (ninth) reached the quarter-finals after shutting down African opponents Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa respectively. France, in particular, were shaky in their opening group game against Jamaica (0-0), but have since bounced back with a win over South American giants Brazil (2-1) and a four-goal thrashing of Morocco in the round of 16. The quarter-finals between Australia and France will also be a highlight, with host nation pride on the line. Australia won their round of 16 match against Denmark in a one-sided affair in front of 76,000 fans. Colombia, the only South American nation to reach the quarter-finals, cannot be ignored. They helped world number two Germany (2-1) pack their bags in the group stage and then sank Jamaica in the round of 16.
The race for the Golden Boot (top scorer) has also heated up. Japan’s Miyazawa is currently in sole possession of the top spot with five goals, with Netherlands’ Jill Rohrert (Manchester City) and France’s Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain) in second place with four goals each. Germany’s Alexandra Pope (Wolfsburg) has also scored four goals but has dropped out of contention. Seven others are in the hunt with three goals apiece, including England’s Lauren James (Chelsea), France’s Eugenie Le Somme (Lyon), Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt (Arsenal), Australia’s Haley Lasso (Real Madrid), Spain’s Henifer Hermoso (Pachuca), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona) and Alba Redondo (Levante).