It was a fairly dramatic weekend at the FIFA Women’s World Cup as the knockout round began! If you missed any of the action, it’s my ass here to catch you up!
Germany was the only side that made things look “easy” this weekend with a 3-0 win over Nigeria during the first match of Saturday’s lineup. The first two goals came early in the first half (one resulting from a PK), and that seemed to really set the tone for the rest of the match. The third and final goal put the nail in Nigeria’s coffin in the 87th minute, and Germany remains (aside from the US) the only team not to concede a goal in this tournament so far.
MEANWHILE, it was a BIG ol’ nail-biter in the afternoon when Norway faced off against Australia. The Matildas seemed to be on the upswing after their previous two matches in the group stage, but their defensive holes were cause for concern going into yesterday’s match. And Norway, who initially came into the WWC with little fanfare, were able to stick right with the Australian side through the allotted ninety minutes for a 1-1 result. And YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! Yes, we went into overtime (ft. a dramatic red card awarded to Alanna Kennedy of the Australian side), and eventually that gave way to a dreaded PK shootout. Norway slotted all theirs in the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Lydia Williams, while Australia seemed doomed from the start – captain Sam Kerr missed the first shot, and another miss sealed the team’s fate. Norway is through to the next round.
England kicked off Sunday’s match schedule with a 3-0 win over Cameroon, and WOWEE were tensions running high on the Cameroonian side! To be fair, the squad felt pretty hard done by w/ VAR calls, but they let their emotions (IMO) get the better of them for an overall discombobulated performance. And while England was able to knock three in, I don’t feel they had an especially outstanding game. If they bring that kind of lackluster vibe to the pitch against Norway this week (who they’ll face Thursday in the quarter-final), my money is hardcore on the Norwegian squad to pull out the win.
And then came the big one in the afternoon! Brazil took on host nation France, and both squads felt how VAR can giveth and taketh away with various big plays reversed upon review. At the end of regulation time, though, both were sitting at 1-1, and it went to an additional thirty minutes of play in which France made it 2-1, much to the delight of a stadium that was largely cheering for a home win. They’ll move on up to the quarter-final.
So where does that leave us? Well, the quarter-finals are looking pretty European so far, that’s for sure.
This week we’ll see the rest of the knockout matches unfold, and we’ll also see the beginning of the next round. Today we’ve got the one you’re gonna wanna take a long lunch for, aka Spain vs the USWNT, happening at noon. After that is Sweden vs Canada at 3pm ET. Tuesday it’s Italy vs China at noon ET, followed by Netherlands vs Japan at 3pm ET. Wednesday we’ll take a breather, and then we’ll be back at it again with the kickoff of the quarter-finals on Thursday – England will face off against Norway at 3pm ET. Friday, meanwhile, will be France vs a TBD opponent (possibly the USWNT) at 3pm ET.
And now let’s talk headlines!
- We’re expected to see Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz on the pitch again today! Huzzah!
- Meanwhile, Spain appear unfazed by the threat of the USWNT, with Virginia Torrecilla asking “Who is Ali Krieger?” SHOTS FIRED!
- Fox analysts are being criticized for their use of racial tropes during the match against Germany and Nigeria.
- Following its loss to Germany, the Nigerian squad ended its protests of unpaid bonuses.
- And people are never not going to be hella pissed at VAR.
Check back in on Friday for a recap of this week’s matches, as well as what you need to know going into the weekend!