It was a fairly dramatic weekend at the FIFA Women’s World Cup! We’re into the QUARTERFINALS NOW! If you missed any of the action, it’s my ass here to catch you up!
Spain vs the USWNT was the nail-biter that kicked off our FIFA WWC week, and dear god, I do not need that level of stress at noon on a Monday, that is for sure. While the USWNT got the early goal thanks to a PK sunk by Megan Rapinoe, Spain’s Jenni Hermoso knocked in an equalizer about three minutes later. And then we (or at least I) had to spend the entire rest of the first half screaming at the TV any time Spain got a good look, which was more often than I’d have liked. Fortunately another PK opportunity came in the 76th minute, and again, Pinoe came to the rescue and put the USWNT ahead by a goal. The final scoreline was 2-1, and while the USWNT advanced, it was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.
In the afternoon, it was Sweden vs Canada. It was a 0-0 scoreline for the first half, but Sweden’s Blackstenius hammered one in in the second half to give Sweden the advantage. Canada tried to scramble for an equalizer for the remainder of the match, but no dice. Sweden is through, Canada’s on the plane.
I felt pretty confident that Italy would win out over China in Tuesday’s first match, and I was right in that thinking – they beat the Chinese squad 2-0 with a goal by Giacinti in the 15th minute and another in the 49th minute by Galli. While organized, the Chinese squad just looked lackluster, and it wasn’t enough.
And next up was the Netherlands vs Japan, aka our only remaining hope that a country besides the USWNT would level out the heavily European quarterfinal round. NO DICE. While Japan was able to equalize in the 43rd minute to make the score 1-1 by the end of the first half, the Netherlands came back with a heartbreaking penalty in the 90th minute. So long, Japan.
The quarterfinals (which, as we have established, are hella Eurocentric) kicked off yesterday (Thursday) with England vs Norway. I’ll be honest, I was rooting for Norway; I’ve really enjoyed watching them play this tournament, and they’ve come out much better than anyone had initially predicted. But their success was just not to be yesterday – England pounded in three goals for a final result of 3-0. Total bummer, but deserved by the English squad (who played, in my opinion, far better than their previous match), and a credit to Phil Neville’s direction. They will move on to Tuesday’s semifinal against a TBD opponent.
So where does that leave us? Well, as I’ve said several times now, it’s basically the USWNT against the (Euro)world. They’ll face off against host nation France this afternoon, and if you haven’t invented an excuse to get out of work early to watch it at 3pm ET, something is very, very wrong with you.
So fingers crossed the USWNT gets through, although it would be a major upset for the hosts! Tomorrow, meanwhile, we’ve got Italy vs the Netherlands bright ‘n early at 9am ET (I think it could go either way, but if I have to choose I’ll go w/ Italy since I’ve enjoyed watching their progression), and later it’s Germany vs Sweden at 12:30pm ET (my money is on Germany). Sunday we’ve got nothing on as teams will be resting for the semi-final, so if you’re in NYC, get out and enjoy Pride, and if you’re elsewhere, do whatever the hell you want, ’cause it’s break time!
And now let’s talk headlines!
- ASK ME ABOUT MY LORD AND SAVIOR MEGAN RAPINOE!
- A French journalist asked Tobin Heath and Sam Mewis if the USWNT could just do France a favor and let them win today. (The answer was obviously “no”.)
- But does a FIFA ruling give France an edge over the USWNT?
- A record number of people in the UK have been tuning in to watch England battle it out this tournament in hopes that football might ACTUALLY be coming home this time if the women have anything to say about it.
- And David and Harper Beckham are fans!
- France is slogging through this heatwave just as hard as we are.
Check back in on Monday for a recap of this weekend’s matches, as well as what you need to know going into the semifinals ahead!