Women’s World Cup: Guide to the knock-out stages


Ahead of the first round of knock-out fixtures in the Women’s World Cup, Jake Walker took a look at who plays who after emerging from the group stages.

Saturday 22 June

Germany v Nigeria 16:30 BST

Germany face Nigeria in the first knockout game of the 2019 World Cup after an impressive group stage, which saw them not only win, but keep clean sheets in all their games. The Germans have never exited the tournament before the quarter-final stage and they’re in a good position to continue that run as long as they can retain their fine defensive record.

In contrast, Nigeria have won just one of their matches in Group A. However it was enough to see them into the knockout rounds for just the second time in their history, with three points from three games ensuring a third place finish that was enough to see them through.

Norway v Australia – 20:00 BST

Norway go head to head against Australia after an impressive group stage for The Grasshoppers. Their only dropped points came in a 2-1 defeat against the hosts. Martin Sjögren’s side will be looking to go one step further than in 2015 where they were knocked out in the round of 16.

Likewise, Australia have also had a relatively impressive start to the tournament, picking up six points and finishing second in their group. The Matilda’s are one game away from reaching the quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive World Cup and will be aiming to deliver the same result as when the sides last met, in February of last year when Australia ran out 4-3 winners in the Algarve cup.

Sunday 23 June

England v Cameroon – 16:00 BST
The Lionesses go into their last 16 match against Cameroon with great momentum after topping Group D convincingly with nine points. In spite of recent impressive results, manager Phil Neville believes that there is “another 15 to 20 percent to come from the team in terms of performance levels”. England have reached at least the quarter-finals for the Women’s World Cup every year they have qualified and will look to continue that record when they take on Cameroon on Sunday.

Cameroon have forced their way into the knockout stages after picking up three points and finishing third in Group E. The Indomitable Lionesses secured a place in the last 16 of the competition for the second time in their history when Ajara Nchout scored a brace including a 95th minute winner in the decisive group stage game against New Zealand.

France v Brazil – 20:00 BST

The tournament hosts face Brazil in Le Havre after a successful group stage campaign. Les Bleues won all three games in Group A, including a 4-0 thrashing of South Korea to open the tournament. France are second favourites to lift the trophy and are expected to surpass their best ever World Cup finish which saw them come fourth place in 2011.

An enthralling set of games in Group C saw Brazil finish third despite beating the group winners, Italy. A goal difference defective of just two goals separated the top three side in the group, with Brazil finishing third on goals scored they have a tough tie in the last 16 against Group A winners, France, who saw off the Brazilians 3-1 in November of last year when the two sides last met.

Monday 24 June

Spain v USA – 17:00 BST

Spain take on USA after a second placed finish in Group B which saw them pick up 4 points. Reaching the last 16 confirms this World Cup as the most successful one to date for La Roja, with their only other appearance on the world stage ending in a group stage exit four years ago.

USA, the team who have captured the attention of the planet, are back in action on Monday after an extraordinary group stage. The tournament favourites famously kicked off their campaign with a record breaking 13-0 victory over Thailand and as well as an overwhelming goal scoring record, they haven’t conceded a single goal in their last 7 games. It will take some stopping to deny the current World Champions from a place in the final for three consecutive World Cups.

Sweden v Canada – 20:00 BST

After seeing off Chile and Thailand to pick up six point in the groups, Sweden have reached the last 16 in style, which is the same stage of the tournament they reached four years ago. They’ll be hoping to build on that and victory against Canada would see them into the quarter-final for the sixth time in the history of the competition.

As for the Canadians, they share a similar record to that of their last 16 opposition. Victories against Cameroon and New Zealand have comfortably seen them through to the knockout phase after a second placed finish in the group. A win against Sweden would see them into the quarter-finals in consecutive World Cups, a feat which they never previously achieved.

Tuesday 25 June

Italy v China – 17:00 BST 

Italy face China after topping group C with six points. Competing in the tournament for the first time since 1999, Le Azzurre are one game away from matching their best ever World Cup finish when they reached the quarter-finals in 1991, in China.

China go into their last 16 tie against Italy upholding a defensive record that would make all typical Italian tacticians proud. Having only conceded once in their three Group B games, the Chinese have managed to secure a place in the knockout phase by only scoring one goal in the tournament. A Li Ying volley against South Africa gave China a crucial three points to see them through the group finishing third with 4 points.

Netherlands v Japan – 20:00 BST

Netherlands take on Japan in the last of the round of 16 fixtures. Dominant in the group stage, the Dutch picked up nine points and scored six goals coming from five different scorers. Their only previous World Cup saw them reach the last 16 four years ago, they’re already in a strong position to go one step beyond that this time out.

In comparison, Japan’s group stage was more of a mixed bag with one draw, one victory and one defeat guiding them to second place in Group D. Japan have been ever-present in the history of the Women’s World Cup, including making the final in the last two, however the 7th ranked team in the world will need to step up a gear to continue that fine record for a third campaign.


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