The Round of 16 results have solidified the certainty of a new champion for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. A noteworthy occurrence was Sweden’s elimination of the reigning champions, USWNT, in a captivating penalty shootout that employed goal-line technology.
Spain vs. Netherlands – (Friday, August 11, 02:00 BST)
Spain initiated their FIFA Women’s World Cup journey with two commanding victories in the group stage, defeating Costa Rica 3-0 and Zambia 5-0. Despite a surprising 4-0 defeat against Japan, Las Rojas secured their spot in the quarter-finals with an impressive 5-1 triumph over Switzerland. On the other hand, the Netherlands had a more modest beginning to their campaign, clinching a 1-0 victory against Portugal and settling for a 1-1 draw against USWNT.
Japan vs. Sweden – (Friday, August 11, 08:30 BST)
Japan is the sole remaining nation in the competition that has previously claimed a Women’s World Cup title, offering them a slight advantage heading into the upcoming match. Sweden, however, displayed remarkable composure against the reigning world champions, USWNT.
With the experience of enduring extra time and penalties, the European side will confidently approach this game should it remain undecided within the regulation 90 minutes. However, the Asian team has conceded only one goal thus far in the tournament, presenting a challenge for the Swedish frontline.
Australia vs. France – (Saturday, August 12, 08:00 BST)
Australia’s unexpected 3-2 loss to Nigeria has faded into the background following their self-assured performances against Canada and Denmark. Although they have yet to deploy Sam Kerr due to her injury, this match might necessitate the presence of the Chelsea striker to provide a spark.
France encountered no difficulties finding the back of the net during this tournament, amassing 12 goals across four games. This suggests that Australia will need a relentless defense to overcome Les Bleues.
England vs. Colombia – (Saturday, August 12, 11:30 BST)
With the departure of the USWNT, England now assumes the role of favorite in the race for the World Cup title. They are pitted against Colombia, the lowest-ranked team still in the tournament. The Lionesses’ campaign began shaky, securing unconvincing 1-0 victories over Denmark and Haiti.
However, they showcased their prowess with a 6-1 win over China. Following a rather average performance that extended into 120 minutes, Nigeria pushed them to penalties, which should alert Sarina Wiegman as she readies her squad for the quarter-final clash. Colombia enters this fixture with nothing to lose and is determined to continue their historic campaign.