Women’s World Cup: Semifinal Preview

It’s been a long road, but we are now in the home stretch of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Four teams remain in contention to win the trophy on Sunday, but after Wednesday, that number will be down to just two as the semifinal round is now upon us. Pre-tournament favorites England and the United States will do battle in the first match, while dark horses Sweden and the Netherlands will meet to determine who moves on from the second. Some sides may have better odds than others at this stage, but you can’t argue that none of the remaining four sides don’t deserve to at this stage.

Lyon, France now becomes the epicenter of all the action, with the Stade de Lyon playing host to both semifinal matches on Tuesday and Wednesday. The winners will remain in Lyon for the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday, while the losers will play in the Third Place Match on Saturday in Nice.

Here now is our preview for the semifinal round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.


The Teams

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via @FOXSoccer

Three weeks and 48 matches have winnowed the original field of 24 nations down to just four left standing. One of England, Netherlands, Sweden, or the United States will be raising the trophy in Lyon, but first, we need to find out which two sides will be playing for the trophy. Two semifinal matches will determine who moves onto the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday, and which two will be relegated to the Third Place Match in Nice on Saturday.

England

England returns to the Women’s World Cup semifinals for the second straight tournament, but this time they are looking to take care of some unfinished business. Four years ago in Canada, the Lionesses made a surprise run to their first semifinal appearance, but fell to Japan on a late own goal. Now four years on, England is a better all around squad and has the experience of playing on a big stage in the past. Just like when they played Japan in 2015, if England wants to play for a World Cup title, they will have to go through the defending champions.

How they got here: def. Norway 3-1 in Quarterfinal round.

Next up: United States on July 2nd.

Netherlands

Four years ago, the Netherlands made its Women’s World Cup debut in Canada, and now they are just two wins away from winning the title. Coming into France as the reigning European champions, the Dutch were a popular pick as a dark horse much like Croatia was last year at the World Cup. They have played five games in this tournament and walked away with five wins. Now they sit on the precipice of making more history if they can win a sixth straight game to take out fellow European side Sweden on Wednesday.

How they got here: def. Italy 2-0 in Quarterfinal round.

Next up: Sweden on July 3rd.

Sweden

Sweden may be the most unexpected squad to make the semifinals, but that’s only because who they had to play to get here. They slid past a solid Canada side in the Round of 16 then outclassed a Germany side in the Quarterfinals who looked like world beaters until they ran into the Swedes. This will mark Sweden’s fourth time qualifying for the Women’s World Cup semifinals, with two third place finishes and a runner-up finish in 2003 to their credit. They also won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics to top it all off. It took ending a 24 year losing streak against Germany to get here, now they have to make it all worth it starting Wednesday.

How they got here: def. Germany 2-1 in Quarterfinal round.

Next up: Netherlands on July 3rd.

United States

Entering the semifinals, the United States is now a heavy favorite to win the tournament with France and Germany out of the picture. Though the odds may be in their favor, trophies aren’t won at the scorebook. Instead, the United States will have to go through two Top-10 ranked sides if they hope to lift the trophy in Lyon on Sunday. This is the eighth time the United States has played in a Women’s World Cup, making the semifinals all eight times. Win on Tuesday and they will play for a fourth star and second straight title. Lose and they will have to settle for third place at best with all their expectations unmet.

How they got here: def. France 2-1 in Quarterfinal round.

Next up: England on July 2nd.


The Bracket

A look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket as it stands heading into the Semifinal round.

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via @FOXSoccer

What started as 24 teams is now down to just for as they head to Lyon to battle it to see who will play in the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday. Winners advance while the losers hed to Nice for the Third Place Match on Saturday.


Semifinal Matches

Four teams, two matches, and only two spots available in the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday in Lyon. England and the United States get the action started in Lyon on Tuesday as the two long time global rivals meet in their biggest head-to-head match ever on the pitch. Then on Wednesday, Sweden and the Netherlands meet in the second semifinal to decide who will join Tuesday’s winner back at the Stade de Lyon for the title match on Sunday.

England v. United States

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via 101greatgoals.com

England bulldozed its way past Norway in the quarterfinals while the United States scraped by France in a nailbiter. Now the two will meet on the pitch in Lyon in the first of two semifinal matches. The winner moves on to the Women’s World Cup Final back in Lyon while the loser is relegated to the Third Place Match in Nice. This is a matchup between two of the top three ranked teams in the world so there is sure to be fireworks. One other thing to watch out for, the top three goal scorers at the tournament will be on the pitch with Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Ellen White all expected to play.

  • Date: Tuesday, July 2nd
  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FOX

Prediction: United States 3, England 1

Netherlands v. Sweden

Screen-Shot-2019-06-29-at-20.35.54.png
via 101greatgoals.com

For the Netherlands, this is all uncharted territory, playing in their first ever Women’s World Cup semifinal in just their second ever tournament appearance. On the other side stands Sweden, who has been here many times before, but have never been able to capture the ultimate crown. The Netherlands are undoubtedly a rising soccer power in the women’s game while Sweden has been a mainstay with a long record of success on the pitch. When the two sides meet on Wednesday, one will emerge on the brink of history.

  • Date: Wednesday, July 3rd
  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FS1

Prediction: Netherlands 2, Sweden 1 (Netherlands wins in extra time)

That completes just a very brief look at the pair of matches that will compromise the semifinal stage at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. You can watch both matches live on their respective television channels, or you can catch the action online at foxsports.com with a cable sign in.


Golden Boot Outlook

The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 4.46.45 PM
via FIFA.com

As the tournament enters the final week of play, the Golden Ball is still up for grabs. It looks to be a three player race between Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Ellen White, but there are still a lot of talented scorers left that could spoil the party with a good showing. All remaining players are guaranteed at least two more matches with the Third Place Match now in play.

Not shown on this list are Netherlands leading scorer Vivianne Miedema who sits in 12th with three goals, and Sweden’s leading scorer Kosovare Asllani in 17th on two goals.


Once the semifinals begin on Tuesday, 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 enters the final few days. 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.

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