Three weeks, dozens of goals, and one particularly noteworthy red card later, we have reached the final eight teams of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. Let’s see how the teams are doing thus far, as we head into the quarter-finals.
Quarter-final opponents: Sweden
Japan came into the tournament swinging and has not stopped since. Their 3-1 win against Norway this week continued their winning streak. Hinata Miyazawa remains the overall top scorer in the tournament, with five goals. Experts claim that the Japanese team is the most unified in the tournament, with Eniola Aluko (former England forward) stating, “These Japan players are at the height of their confidence - the chemistry, the flow, the timing. They are looking like an unbeatable team - how do you stop them now?"
Quarter-final opponents: Australia
Led by Hervé Renard, the France team is looking strong so far. The side remains unbeaten, and wowed audiences with their 4-0 thrashing of Morocco. However, the French side has not made it past the quarter-finals in the past two Fifa Women’s World Cup tournaments. Despite their winning performance thus far, many believe that the side is not strong enough in their attacking to win. Whilst their midfield defence is highly revered, their strikers and midfield attack leave much to be desired.
Quarter-final opponents: France
Australia has already achieved more than it did in the 2019 tournament simply by reaching the quarter-finals. Star player Sam Kerr has continued to shine despite her injury, playing her first minutes in the team's 2-0 win against Denmark. Before the tournament, many believed that Kerr would carry the team to the finals. Yet, the Australians have proven naysayers wrong by playing full-team football even without Kerr on the field.
Quarter-final opponents: England
Whilst it was clear that Columbia was working their hardest to beat Jamaica, they have succeeded in making it through to the quarterfinals; the furthest their team has ever gotten. With a thrilling mix of experienced players and youthful ones, the Columbian team may stand the chance of knocking out England.
Quarter-final opponents: Spain
Returning runners-up, the Netherlands side has proven themselves to be defence juggernauts. Aiming to secure the trophy this year, the team is playing an impressive game, with no losses yet on their record. Their skilled defence is sure to come in handy when facing off against Spain this weekend; a team known for its abundant scoring.
Quarter-final opponents: Netherlands
Despite their 4-0 defeat against Japan, the Spain team has pulled up their socks and managed to defeat Switzerland with ease. Star player and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas should be back at peak fitness for the team's match against the Netherlands, promising an exciting match.
Quarter-final opponents: Japan
Sweden has shocked audiences with their defeat of the reigning champions, the USA. Goalkeeper Zecira Musovic is the shining star of the team thus far, with her 11 saves pushing the team to victory. Sweden achieved third at the 2019 tournament, so the team is sure to be angling for the trophy this year. However, they will have to get through Japan first.
Quarter-final opponents: Columbia
The English team has shown some solid defence thus far, but has given the impression that they are scraping through the competition. Pocket rocket Lauren James received a red card for a dangerous block in their match against Nigeria, which saw her stomp on player Michelle Alozie. If Fifa decides to let the red card stand, James will be out of the next match. If the penalty is increased, James could receive a three-match ban, ultimately ending her time in the competition.
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