It was a wild Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. From the first match taking penalties to decide, to the last match needing a last minute penalty kick to send the eighth and final team through to the Quarterfinal round in France, it was a chaotic and unpredictable spectacle. Of the 16 squads that entered the knockout stages, only right now remain in contention to lift the trophy in Lyon in 11 days.
With the initial field of 24 teams now whittled down to just eight, the cream is starting to rise to the top and everyone believes they have a shot at winning the title. Of the eight teams left standing, seven hail from the European continent, with the United States being the only outlier of the bunch. This round will be highlighted by the France/United States matchup on Friday, but all four matches should provide some fireworks and possibly even a few surprises to keep everyone watching on the edge of their seat.
Eight teams compromise the Quarterfinal field at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Here’s a quick look at how they all got to this point and who is waiting for them as they prepare to play for a spot in the Semifinals in Lyon.
England moved through Group D with relative ease then bounced Cameroon in what was a much more even contest than the score line may show. Cameroon was able to exploit some vulnerable spots in the Lionesses lineup that should sound some alarm bells around the England camp. It won’t get any easier as the opponents get tougher.
How they got here: def. Cameroon 3-0 in Round of 16.
Next up: Norway
It’s been about as good a start to the tournament as the host nation could have hoped for, even if they did get everything they could handle against Brazil. For the most part, France have looked the part of contender even if some cracks have been showing. All that matters is win and advance and that was enough to make it here.
How they got here: def. Brazil 2-1 in extra time in Round of 16.
Next up: United States
If you were ranking the remaining teams based on how they have looked through four games, Germany would likely be at the very top. They have yet to surrender a goal this tournament while scoring nine. Nigeria was not an easy out in the Round of 16, but the Germans made it look easy.
How they got here: def. Nigeria 3-0 in Round of 16.
Next up: Sweden
Perhaps the cinderella team of the tournament to this point, Italy is making the most of its first trip to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 20 years. It’s not like they are getting lucky either, they advanced out of a tough group that featured Brazil and Australia, then defeated a strong China side in the Round of 16. Everything from here on out is just more history.
How they got here: def. China 2-0 in Round of 16.
Next up: Netherlands
Entering France as the reigning European champions, the Netherlands were a popular dark horse pick, but they appear to be shedding that layer after winning Group C then knocking out a strong Japan side. Like their quarterfinal opponent Italy, more history awaits to be made.
How they got here: def. Japan 2-1 in Round of 16.
Next up: Italy
It’s really too bad Norway doesn’t have Ada Hegerberg at their disposal for this tournament, because if they did, they might be the favorites at this point. Even without Hegerberg, Norway has looked like a contender in every game they have played. Maybe they can learn some lessons from Cameroon and expose some weaknesses England showed in the Round of 16.
How they got here: def. Australia 4-1 in penalties in Round of 16.
Next up: England
Defense is the name of the game for Sweden and it worked perfectly in their Round of 16 victory over Canada. Once they found a breakthrough in the second half on the counter attack, they let their defense do the rest and booked a spot in the quarterfinals. If they want to keep playing, they may need a little more from their offense against the Germans.
How they got here: def. Canada 1-0 in Round of 16.
Next up: Germany
It wasn’t pretty, but the United States survived a tough test against Spain to keep their hopes of a repeat World Cup title alive. After a dominating group stage performance, many questions are being asked about the overall strength of this squad following the close call with Spain. Those questions will be answered on Friday.
How they got here: def. Spain 2-1 in Round of 16.
Next up: France
A look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket as it stands heading into the Quarterfinal round.
Eight teams enter but only four will survive and advance to the semifinals in Lyon next week. At this point in the tournament, all the team remaining are quality squads which should make for some must watch action coming out of France over the next three days.
Four matches over three days will help determine which four national sides will advance to Lyon for the semifinals next week. All the action will begin when Norway and England take the field on Thursday to get our next stage of play underway in France.
Here’s a short breakdown of the four matches that make up the quarterfinals schedule at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Norway v. England
England will enter as the favorites in this match, but Norway has looked the part of a true contender every time they have stepped on the field in France. Cameroon exposed some vulnerabilities in this England squad, and those exposed areas just happen to play for Norway’s strengths. If it wasn’t for the next match on the schedule, this would be the match to watch in the quarterfinals.
- Date: Friday, June 27th
- Time: 3:00 PM
- Location: Stade Océane (Le Havre)
- How to Watch: FOX
Prediction: Norway 2, England 1 (Norway wins in extra time)
France v. United States
This was the matchup everyone has been waiting for since the bracket was revealed many months ago. If everything played out as expected, France and the United States were on a collision course for a meeting in the quarterfinals, a match that could very well decided who wins the tournament. What makes it even better is both sides are playing their best soccer entering this match, even if they weren’t overly convincing in the Round of 16. Everything has fallen perfectly into place for this matchup, now it’s just up to the two teams to make it all worthwhile.
- Date: Saturday, June 28th
- Time: 3:00 PM
- Location: Parc de Princes (Paris)
- How to Watch: FOX
Prediction: United States 4, France 2
Italy v. Netherlands
It’s already been a historic tournament for both Italy and the Netherlands to this point, but only one can make even more with a victory and a spot in the semifinals. Italy has been solid on defense and found an explosive offense to go with it, while the Netherlands has used some timely scoring to keep the wins coming. On paper, the Netherlands will be the favorite, but if Italy can get a lead that defense can wear you down over the course of a game.
- Date: Saturday, June 29th
- Time: 9:00 AM
- Location: Stade de Hainaut (Valenciennes)
- How to Watch: FS1
Prediction: Netherlands 2, Italy 2 (Netherlands win on penalties)
Germany v. Sweden
Germany have been the most impressive team at the Women’s World Cup so far, but their schedule hasn’t exactly been filled with heavyweights. That’s not their fault though, they can only play who they matchup against, and so far they have beaten all challengers. What sticks out amongst all their success, is how they have done it without midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan for most of the tournament. That play will need to continue with a stingy and opportunistic Sweden side waiting in the quarterfinals.
- Date: Saturday, June 29th
- Time: 12:30 PM
- Location: Roazhon Park (Rennes)
- How to Watch: FS1
Prediction: Germany 2, Sweden 0
That completes just a very brief look at the four matches that will compromise the Quarterfinal stage at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Check back everyday for our daily recaps of the action of previews of what’s on tap.
Golden Boot Outlook
The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Seven of the top ten leading scorers at this FIFA Women’s World Cup are still alive in the competition meaning this race is still wide open. Alex Morgan still leads with her five goals, all from her opening match.
Once the Quarterfinals begin on Thursday, we will continuing with our daily World Cupdates recapping the previous day of action along with a preview of what’s still to come as the tournament marches forward. Make sure you are checking back with us everyday to keep up to date on the latest news from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.