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The 2023 Women’s World Cup So Far

This has been the best Women’s World Cup thus far. It’s time to shine a light on those that have been making a name for themselves on the big stage.

This is the first time many more people are watching women’s football. The crowd numbers have shown a fantastic turnout on the world’s biggest stage. The Women’s World Cup has delivered excellent quality of the game and introduced the world to current and future legends. The world is now seeing for itself that women footballers do deserve to have a place in the sport.

This World Cup has been thrilling so far, and full of shocks too. Teams that were favored to go through the final few stages have been shockingly knocked out. In their place are teams that no one would have initially thought would make it this far.

The shock exits that rocked the world of football

Team USA was predicted by many to make it as far as the finals, but the victors were seen knocked out of the Round of 16 by Sweden after losing 5-4 in penalties. In her last ever World Cup match, U.S. legend Megan Rapinoe was one of those to miss a penalty when it came to shootouts. Despite making it as far as the knockout stages, the U.S. team haven’t played to their highest standards as expected. Sadly for them, Sweden were able to get the better of them. The USWNT waved goodbye to the 2023 Women’s World Cup after the loss.

Another shocking exit was Germany, who were favorites for a top 4 finish. The Germans were another team that did not play as well as expected. They missed out on going through to the Round of 16 by 2 points after failing to secure a win against South Korea in their last group stage match. The game ended 1-1, which was enough for Morocco and Colombia to advance while also sending Germany home. Earlier in the group stage, Germany managed a 6-0 win over Morocco, but often times throughout their time in the tournament, they were struggling with possession. This ultimately led to their time on the big stage ending prematurely.

Despite issues with their federation back home, Canada looked promising and were expected to be the underdogs that made it far into the tournament. They needed a draw to make it through into the next round. However, a big loss to co-hosts Australia, combined with Nigeria’s draw with Ireland meant the end of the road for the Canadians. This is the first time that a reigning Olympic gold-medal team has been knocked out at the group stage of a Women’s World Cup.

For the first time since 1995, Brazil have not competed in the Women’s World Cup knockout round after drawing 0-0 with Jamaica in Melbourne in their final group stage game. This meant the world had to say goodbye to football legend Marta. She had played her last ever World Cup game in that draw. The South American side desperately needed a win to go through, but that Jamaican defense that has rattled every opponent proved bulletproof during the Jamaica v Brazil clash. This was yet another unexpected early goodbye.

If anything, these unexpected exits have proven how much women’s football has grown. So many more players now have the opportunity to play top-tier level football outside of the World Cup. This has been a great help as the quality of football, and the quality of players has massively increased. The tournament has been tight so far, and that is a true testament as to the growth of the sport.

Shocking exits aren’t all to talk about though. We’ve had incredible moments and breakout stars at this World Cup as well that deserve the spotlight too.

Who’s shining on the world’s biggest stage?

Lauren James. With her magical feet creating opportunities and scoring goals, James has let the world know that she is here, and it is her time. The Chelsea and England star has made her mark at this World Cup. With three goals and three assists in four games, she has proven that she is a vital part of the England squad. Each time she’s on the pitch, her effect is more than visible, with her technical ability a threat to the opposition.

However, in England’s most recent game against Nigeria in the Round of 16, James stamped her foot on the back of Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie. that resulted in a red card. James has since apologized and is set to miss England’s next two matches, making her available for either Women’s World Cup final, if they make it.

Colombia’s Linda Caicedo has been making her mark at this tournament. The 18-year-old was already listed as one to watch ahead of the World Cup and she has lived up to expectations. She is quick on her feet and dances her way around defenders. On top of that, she has scored 2 goals at this World Cup so far. If she carries on her momentum, she can score more, especially since Colombia managed a 1-0 win over Jamaica to carry them through to the quarterfinals.

Colombia as a team have also made a name for themselves at the tournament. They’re the first team in the tournament to break through the titanium Jamaican defense and score a goal. They topped their group stage which comprised of a team as strong and reputable as Germany, and have won 3 of their 4 matches so far. Two of those wins were against Germany and Jamaica. Colombia are making history by going through to the quarterfinals and have every reason to be proud of themselves after failing to qualify for the tournament in 2019.

Australia and Denmark at the Round of 16 produced one of the best matches of the tournament with brilliant performances from both sides. Denmark started the game with great energy and momentum. The Danes had the better of the opening exchanges and also had a stronger defense that the Matilda’s couldn’t get past. An opportunity did eventually come through and turn into a goal for Australia in the 29th minute, with Foord, who has been incredible the entire World Cup finding the back of the net. Australia were able to match up to Denmark’s strengths, and the teams both fought and showed quality. However, only Australia were able to turn that into goals, with them taking a 2-0 win.

As expected, former Chelsea player and new Bayern Munich signing Pernille Harder was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes. Another player linked to Chelsea was Sam Kerr, who made her first appearance at the 2023 World Cup in this clash after sustaining a slight injury during training prior to Australia’s first game of the tournament. Sam Kerr was subbed in late to the game, but instantly made an impact and made an attempt at goal. The Australia vs Denmark game was a game filled with beautiful touches and crosses – it was all very appealing to the eye, and one to remember.

Japan have been dominant in this tournament and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take a place in the finals. They won all their matches in the group stage, ultimately topping it. They also went on to win their knockout game against Norway. All of Japan’s games have been won with big margins; 5-0 against Zambia, 2-0 against Costa Rica, 4-0 against Spain and 3-1 against Norway. The bar has been set high by the Asian team and they might just be the team to beat. Japan will face Sweden in the quarterfinals, a highly anticipated game. Sweden and Japan are both yet to lose a match, so this will definitely be tight.

What’s next at the World Cup?

The Round of 16 has just been completed, and it was thrilling, to say the least. Now we’re onto the quarterfinals and we’ve got a great line-up of matches heading our way.

Spain v Netherlands – Friday, 11th August
Japan v Sweden – Friday, 11th August
England v Colombia – Saturday, 12th August
Australia v France – Saturday, 12th August





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