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  • Writer's pictureAshlea Follows

Women's World Cup 2023: RO16 Round-Up

Over the last few days we’ve seen the knockout stages of this years Women’s World Cup get underway, with back to back World Cup champions USA in action, European Champions England in action and many more top talents on show the battle for a quarter final spot was well and truly on.

 

Switzerland 1 - 5 Spain

Spain were the first side to secure their place in the quarter-finals after they dominated Switzerland. They took control of the game straight away and scored after just 5 minutes through the world class Bonmati, the Swiss were soon level though through a pretty embarrassing own goal from Laia Codina (Spain). But Redondo restored the spanish’s lead just six minutes after with a header and then Bonmati grabbed her second goal of the game (and Spain's third) with a decent finish inside the box.

After her early mistake that gave the Swiss an equaliser early on, Codina redeemed herself by scoring Spain's 4th goal before half-time. After being 4-1 up at half-time the Spanish side did take their foot off the gas a little bit in the second half, however there was still time for veteran Jennifer Hermoso to get on the scoresheet, she curled her shot perfectly into the top corner after being picked out by Bonmati.

 

Japan 3 - 1 Norway

Japan secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup for the first time since 2015 (the tournament in which they finished runners-up) by beating an underwhelming Norway side 3-1. An own goal from Engen (Norway) and then goals from Shimizu and Miyazawa was enough to cancel out a Guro Reiten equaliser.

The Japanese have now scored 14 goals this tournament (their highest ever total at a World Cup) while Norway are in real trouble, they have failed to make the quarter-final stages of a tournament yet again and they are now (excluding a penalty shootout victory) without a win in their last 6 tournament knockout games (D1, L5).

 

Netherlands 2 - 0 South Africa

Despite coming up against a solid and determined South Africa side, The Netherlands have once again qualified for the quarter-final stage at a World Cup by beating them 2-0 in Sydney. Jill Roord opened the scoring after just 9 minutes and bagged her 4th goal of the tournament. This early goal gave the Dutch something to hold onto throughout the game.

Despite the best efforts from the South African attackers Kgatlana and Magaia, Dutch keeper Van Domselaar made some key saves to keep them at bay; in the end the Africa Cup of Nations champions tired out, and Beerensteyn took full advantage as her powerful drive slipped through the hands of South African keeper Swart to give the Netherlands that crucial two goal advantage with 22 minutes left to play. Ultimately, South Africa couldn’t reduce the deficit however, the whole team should be proud of their tournament and the way they held their own against a world class Dutch side in their first ever knockout game at a World Cup.

 

Sweden 0 (5) - 0 (4) USA = After penalties

After 120 minutes of football, one of the most tense penalty shoot outs in Women’s World Cup history and a little bit of luck it was Sweden who progressed to the quarter-finals, knocking out back to back World Champions USA. This is the USA’s earliest ever exit from a World Cup since the tournament began, despite dominating the game they couldn’t score past a stubborn and strong Swedish defence and some incredible match winning saves from Musovic was enough to take the game to penalties. An incredibly tense penalty shootout saw the first five penalties taken be converted, then after a string of misses from players like Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith took us into sudden death, and after being brought on as a sub, O’Hara hit the post and then the deciding moment fell to Arsenal’s Lina Hurting. Her initial shot was forced into the air by Naeher, but the ball came down and went over the line, despite the US keepers best efforts to keep it out, VAR ruled the ball was over the line by just millimetres, but it was the penalty that sent Sweden into sheer pandemonium and the USA into utter sadness.

 

England 0 (4) - 0 (2) Nigeria = After Penalties

The Lionesses secured their place once again in the quarter-finals of a World Cup despite another lacklustre performance against an energetic, strong and solid Nigeria side. England survived a few scares throughout the game as The Super Falcons hit the woodwork twice through Ashley Plumptre and then Kanu. The Nigerians dominated the game overall, but The Lionesses defence stood firm and once again Mary Earps pulled off some good saves.

Just minutes from time, the tournament looked to be over for England after superstar Lauren James was sent off after stamping on Alozie’s back. The Nigerians once again dominated and threatened in extra-time but they couldn’t capitalise and after all their missed chances, it was England who prevailed in the penalty shoot out, with Chloe Kelly once again scoring the winning penalty.  

 

Australia 2 - 0 Denmark

Australia are through to the quarter-finals of their home tournament after beating Denmark 2-0 in front of another massive home crowd. Veje, Harder and Vangsgaard all had early chances to put The Matildas under some serious pressure, however they all fired their efforts straight at Arnold in the Australia goal. And the Aussies were soon in front and they never looked back. Caitlin Foord got on the end of a stunning pass over the top from Mary Fowler, before firing her effort through the legs of Danish keeper Christensen and into the net.

Australia dominated the rest of the game without even looking like they’d come out of second gear. Hayley Raso scored her side’s second of the game before being substituted for skipper and Australian legend Sam Kerr, who came on to an incredible welcome for her first appearance at this year's tournament. Australia’s victory is only the second time they have progressed on from a World Cup knockout game in six attempts.

 

Colombia 1 - 0 Jamaica

Colombia became just the second ever South American nation to reach the quarter-final stage of a Women’s World Cup (after Brazil), after securing a narrow victory over Jamaica. Throughout the game Colombia had the better of the chances and should have been 1-0 up in the first half, but Carabali directed her effort over the bar from close range.

But just six minutes after the break, the Colombians got their deserved goal. Guzman, who was making her World Cup debut, switched a beautiful pass from left to right, which captain Usme was ready for, and after a perfect touch in the box she curled her effort into the bottom corner. After the goal the game became a lot more open, Jamaica went close through Brown, before Colombian winger Linda Caicedo had her effort saved. The Reggae Girlz had one final chance to send the game to extra-time through Drew Spence but her header went just wide of the post. Despite not making it through to the quarter-finals the Jamaicans have had a tournament to remember, lets not forget they were the side that knocked out Brazil.

 

France 4 - 0 Morocco

France have made it to the quarter-finals for a fourth consecutive World Cup tournament after beating Morocco 4-0. After just 23 minutes, the game had slipped away for the Moroccons as the French were 3-0 up thanks to goals from Diani, Dali and Le Sommer.

Diani scored first after heading into an empty net, before she then set up Dali for the second and Le Sommer for the third goal. Morocco did come out better in the second half and nearly scored a consolation goal just seconds after the restart, but in the 70th minute, Le Sommer nodded in her second goal of the game just to put the final icing on the cake for the French.

 

 

So who plays who in the quarter-finals?

The mouth watering quarter-final fixtures get underway in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Below is a list of the QF fixtures, days they are being played, kick off times in BST and the TV channel in England you can watch them on.

 

Friday 11th August

Spain vs Netherlands = 02:00 (BST) - ITV

Japan vs Sweden = 08:30 (BST) - BBC One

 

Saturday 12th August

Australia vs France = 08:00 (BST) - ITV

England vs Colombia = 11:30 (BST) - ITV

 

Who’s going to make it through to the Semi-Finals?

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