FIFA Women’s World Cup: Some Groups Got Knocked Out

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By Rockin’ Reese

The group stage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been completed. There was a lot of drama, as these teams competed for the right to participate in the knockout stage of the World Cup. Let’s see how each team fared and who advanced to the knockout stage or who simply got knocked out.

In group stage games, 8 groups were assembled, with 4 teams assigned to a group. Each team would play all 3 of their opponents. Teams earned 3 points for a win & 1 point for a draw. After all 6 games were played in a group, the 2 highest scoring teams in each group advanced to the knockout stage. If 2 or more teams were tied, then a series of tie-breakers would have been used to determine who would either win a group or be part of the knockout stage.

In group A, New Zealand (one of the host countries), Switzerland, Norway, & the Philippines competed. In rotation 1, New Zealand defeated Norway (1-0) & Switzerland defeated Philippines (2-0). In rotation 2, Philippines defeated New Zealand (1-0), while Switzerland & Norway had a scoreless draw. In rotation 3, Switzerland & New Zealand had a scoreless draw, while Norway bodied Philippines (6-0). Switzerland won group A with 5 points. Norway & New Zealand had 4. Philippines had 3 points. Unfortunately for New Zealand, head-to-head wasn’t part of the tie-breaker criteria. The first tie-breaker is superior goal difference. Despite both teams only surrendering 1 goal, Norway’s 6 goals led to a +5 goal differential. New Zealand’s 1 led to a goal differential of 0, so Norway advanced to the knockout stage with Switzerland.

In group B, Australia (the other host country), Canada, Ireland, & Nigeria competed. In rotation 1, Australia defeated Ireland (1-0), while Canada & Nigeria had a scoreless draw. In rotation 2, Canada defeated Ireland (2-1) & Nigeria defeated Australia (3-2).In rotation 3, Australia handled Canada (4-0), while Ireland & Nigeria had a scoreless draw. Australia won group B with 6 points. Nigeria advanced to the knockout stage with 5 points. Canada had 4. Ireland had 1 point.

FIFA Women's World Cup

In group C, Japan, Spain, Zambia, & Costa Rica competed. In rotation 1, Spain defeated Costa Rica (3-0), while Japan crushed Zambia (5-0). In rotation 2, Japan defeated Costa Rica (2-0), while Spain annihilated Zambia  (5-0). In rotation 3, Japan took Spain down (4-0), while Zambia defeated Costa Rica (3-1). Japan won group C with (a perfect score of) 9 points. Spain advanced to the knockout stage with 6 points.  Zambia had 3 points. Costa Rica had 0 points.

In group D, England, China, Denmark, & Haiti competed. In rotation 1, England defeated Haiti (1-0) & Denmark defeated China (1-0). In rotation 2, England defeated Denmark (1-0) & China defeated Haiti (1-0). In rotation 3, England destroyed China (6-1) & Denmark defeated Haiti (2-0). England won group D with 9 points. Denmark advanced to the knockout stage with 6. China had 3 points. Haiti had 0 points.

In group E, the (2-time defending Women’s World Cup Champion) United States, Portugal, the Netherlands, & Vietnam competed. In rotation 1, United States defeated Vietnam (3-0) & Netherlands defeated Portugal (1-0). In rotation 2, United States drew with Netherlands (1-1), while Portugal defeated Vietnam (2-0). In rotation 3, Portugal & United States had a scoreless draw, while Netherlands obliterated Vietnam (7-0). Netherlands won group E with 7 points. United States advanced to the knockout with 5 points. Portugal had 4 points. Vietnam had 0 points.

In group F, France, Brazil, Jamaica, & Panama competed. In rotation 1, France & Jamaica had a scoreless draw, while Brazil breezed past Panama (4-0). In rotation 2, France defeated Brazil (2-1) & Jamaica defeated Panama (1-0). Before the final rotation, Panama was mathematically eliminated from the competition. In rotation 3, France doubled up Panama (6-3), while Jamaica & Brazil had a scoreless draw. France won group F with 7 points. Jamaica advanced to the knockout stage with 5 points. Brazil had 4 points. Panama had 0 points. 

In group G, Italy, Argentina, Sweden, & South Africa competed. In rotation 1, Sweden defeated South Africa (2-1) & Italy defeated Argentina (1-0). In rotation 2, Argentina & South Africa had a scoreless draw, while Sweden carved up Italy (5-0). Before the final rotation, Sweden was guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage. In rotation 3, Sweden defeated Argentina (2-0) & South Africa defeated Italy (3-2). Sweden won group G with 9 points. South Africa advanced to the knockout stage with 4 points. Italy had 3 points. Argentina had 1 point.

In group H, Germany, Colombia, South Korea, & Morocco competed. In rotation 1, Germany hammered Morocco (6-0) & Colombia defeated South Korea (2-0). In rotation 2, Morocco defeated South Korea (1-0) & Colombia defeated Germany (2-1). In rotation 3, South Korea drew with Germany (1-1), while Morocco defeated Colombia (1-0). With both teams having 6 points, Colombia & Morocco advanced to the knockout stage. However, Colombia had a +2 goal differental, while Morocco had a -4…which meant Colombia won group H. Germany had 4 points. South Korea had 1 point.

FIFA Women's World Cup

Here are some statistics from the group stage portion of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: 
-With the exceptions of Australia & Colombia, every group winner has yet to lose a game. However, only Japan, England, & Sweden won all 3 of their games.
-Out of the 6 teams who have not tasted defeat, Switzerland, Japan, & Jamaica have yet to surrender a goal.
-Out of the 4 teams who didn’t score a point in group stage play, only Haiti & Vietnam failed to score a goal in the tournament. Coincidentally, Costa Rica & Panama scored goals in their final games.
-Of the goals made in the entire tournament, 16 came from penalty kicks & 6 were own goals (when a goalie’s teammate was the one who put the ball past her).
-Out of 96 games, 7 of the 10 that ended in a draw were scoreless. Of the remaining 86 games, only 9 of them had a losing team score a goal.
-Only 3 hat tricks were scored in the group stage (Sophie Román Haug of Norway, Ary Borges of Brazil, & Kadidiatou Diani of France).

The knockout stage is a 4-round, single elimination tournament. In each bracket, the winner of one group would play the runner-up of another group. Unlike a group stage game, in each half of a knockout game, there will be 45 minutes of regulation play, then 15 minutes of “extra time”. If the score is tied after the 2nd extra time session expired, then the game will continue a shoot-out. Teams will try to make goals, as if they were taking a penalty kick. They will alternate for a maximum of 5 rounds. If the score is still tied after the 5th round, then the shoot-out will continue under sudden death.

The preliminary round of the knockout stage will feature Switzerland (led by captain Lia Wälti and goalie Gaëlle Thalmann) competing against Spain (led by captain Ivana Andrés and top scorers Jennifer Hermoso & Alba Redondo). The winner of that game will compete against the winner of Netherlands (led by captain Sherida Spitse & top scorer Jill Roord) vs. South Africa (led by captain Refiloe “Fifinho” Jane and top scorers Hildah Magaia & Chrestinah “Pikinini” Kgatlana). 

Japan (led by captain Saki Kumagai, top scorer Hinata Miyazawa, and goalie Ayaka Yamashita) will compete against Norway (led by captain Maren Mjelde and top scorer Sophie Román Haug). The winner of that match will compete against the winner of Sweden (led by captain Caroline Seger and top scorer Amanda Ilestedt) vs. United States (led by captain Alex Morgan and top scorers Sophia Smith & co-captain Lindsey Horan). Australia (led by captain Sam Kerr and top scorers Stephanie-Elise Catley & Hayley Raso) will compete against Denmark (led by captain Pernille Harder and fellow scorers Amalie Vangsgaard & Sanne Troelsgaard).

The winner of that match will compete against the winner of France (led by captain Wendie Renard & top scorer Kadidiatou Diani) vs. Morocco (led by Ghizlane Chebbak and scorers Ibtassim Jraidi & Anissa Lahmari).  England (led by captain Millie Bright and top scorer Lauren James) will compete against Nigeria (led by captain/goalie Chiamaka Nnadozie and scorers Uchenna Kanu & Asisat Oshoala).

The winner of that match will compete against the winner of Colombia (led by captain Daniela Montoya and top scorer Linda Caicedo) vs. Jamaica (led by captain Khadija Shaw, scorer Chantelle Swaby, & goalie Rebecca Spencer). This round will be from Saturday morning to Tuesday morning. Whoever wins, they’ll advance to the quarter-finals, which start Thursday. Whoever loses, they’ll have to wait at least 4 more years for another chance.

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