Women’s World Cupdate: Still the champs; USA wins Women’s World Cup

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Sunday, July 7th

It wasn’t always the prettiest soccer, but the United States capped off another dominating tournament with probably their best performance of the knockout rounds to defeat the Netherlands and complete the successful defense of their title from four years ago.

United States 2-0 Netherlands

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via @FOXSoccer

Four years after lifting the Women’s World Cup trophy in Canada, the United States put on a repeat performance in France with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands to claim the country’s fourth Women’s World Cup title.

It was clear from the very beginning that the United States was the superior of the two sides on the pitch in Lyon, but Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal played the game of her life in the first half to keep the match scoreless at halftime, giving her side hope of a second half breakthrough.

That breakthrough never arrived for the Netherlands, but it did arrive for the United States after nearly 60 minutes of constant pressure on the Dutch defense. It wouldn’t have been a true final if VAR had not been involved, and it made its impact in the second half, awarding a penalty kick to the United States after a dangerous tackle in the box. Megan Rapinoe stepped to the spot and dispatched the ball into the back of the net with ease to send the United States in front 1-0 in the 61st minute.

Eight minutes later, the United States effectively put the game away when they doubled their lead in the 69th minute. Rose Lavelle took a pass in the middle of the pitch then did the rest of the work herself to get open and hammer a shot past van Veenendaal to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining.

There was nothing the Dutch could do claw their way back into the game at this point as everything they did to push forward was met with heavy resistance from the American defense. In fact, it was the United States still creating offensive pressure as the Dutch had to further open themselves up to attack.

There would be no further scoring for the United States, but in the end it didn’t matter as they closed at the victory and staked claim as the greatest women’s soccer team to ever exist.

Goals

  • Megan Rapinoe | USA (61′ PEN)
  • Rose Lavelle | USA (69′)

Highlights

Tournament Awards

Here’s the list of winners of the overall tournament awards handed out on Sunday.

Golden Ball (Best Player)

  • Megan Rapinoe (USA)
  • Silver Ball: Lucy Bronze (England), Bronze Ball: Rose Lavelle (USA)

Golden Boot (Top Scorer)

  • Megan Rapinoe (USA)
  • Silver Boot: Alex Morgan (USA), Bronze Boot: Ellen White (England)

Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper)

  • Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

Best Young Player (Best player 21 & Under)

  • Giulia Gwinn (Germany)

FIFA Fair Play Award (Sportsmanship)

  • France

Plays of the Day

INTRO

Megan Rapinoe (United States)

Game winner. Golden Boot winner. Championship winner. Megan Rapinoe’s penalty in the 61st minute gave the United States a lead they never surrendered on the way to a fourth Women’s World Cup title.

Rose Lavelle (United States)

There were doubts about Rose Lavelle’s status for this game after leaving with an injury against England in the semifinal. Based on her performance on Sunday, everything seemed quite alright as she delivered a standout solo goal to give the United States some insurance.

Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

If it wasn’t for Sari van Veenendaal in the first half, the United States could have blown this thing wide open and had everything under wraps before halftime. She kept the American goal scorers at bay for as long as she could to keep her side alive.


Final Bracket

A look at how the bracket looks following the conclusion of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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via FIFA.com

There you have it, the final bracket of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It’s the United States rolling through four European sides on the way to their fourth Women’s World Cup title in France.

Final Standings

1st: United States

2nd: Netherlands

3rd: Sweden

4th: England


Here’s What’s Next: Looking Forward

Just because the 2019 Women’s World Cup is over doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of good soccer to look forward too. Besides domestic leagues and tournament resuming in August, there is an already loaded schedule of international soccer on the horizon, beginning as soon as next summer. Both the men and women have a multitude of future tournament on the schedule with the European Championships and Summer Olympics on tap for 2020.

UEFA Euro 2020 (Europe)

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via uefa.com

This has been a women’s soccer centric content site for the last month, but the men’s game will make a few appearances as we look towards the future. The next major international tournament on the docket is set for next summer as nations from across Europe will bounce around the continent to determine the confederation champion. Play begins on June 12th, 2020 in Rome.

2020 Summer Olympics (Tokyo, Japan)

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via wikipedia.com

Next to the Women’s World Cup, the Summer Olympics is the biggest international soccer tournament on the schedule. This tournament consists of only 12 teams compared to 24, but the prize at the end of the road is just as meaningful. Play will begin on July 22nd, 2020 in Japan.

2022 FIFA World Cup (Qatar)

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via FIFA.com

Similar to Russia in 2018, Qatar will become the latest controversial host of of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Due to Qatar’s desert climate, the tournament will be moved to winter to avoid extreme heat conditions. Play is scheduled to begin on November 21st, 2022.

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (TBD)

As of right now, no host has been selected for the next iteration of the Women’s World Cup set for summer of 2023. Host selection will be announced on March 20th, 2020 with nine countries submitting bids to host the tournament. Those countries include: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea.

UEFA Euro 2024 (Germany)

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Another European championship is slated for the summer of 2024 with Germany playing host. Unless UEFA decides to expand the competition, 24 teams will once again fight for continental supremacy.

2024 & 2026 Summer Olympics (Paris, France & Los Angeles, USA)

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via olympics.org

International soccer returns to France for the Summer Olympics in 2024 then heads to the United States for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

2026 FIFA World Cup (USA, Mexico, Canada)

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via wikipedia.com

Prior to hosting the summer games in 2028, the United States (with Canada and Mexico) will host the world for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The joint bid between the three nations was awarded the tournament in June 2018. This tournament will see the field of teams expand from 32 to 48 for the first time.

2027 Women’s World Cup (TBD)

FIFA has announced plans for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the bidding process to host the tournament has not yet been opened. As of this writing the United States, the Netherlands, and a handful of Nordic nations have expressed interest in potentially playing host.


Golden Boot Results

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

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via FIFA.com

Megan Rapinoe scores the game winner on Sunday and jumps from third to first and wins the Golden Ball on tiebreakers over teammate Alex Morgan and Ellen White of England. Morgan takes home the Silver Ball and White gets the Bronze.

Overall, eight different nations were represented in the final Top-10 and 83 different players recorded at least one goal at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


Thus concludes our daily Women’s World Cup content. Congratulations to TEAM on a hard earned and historic victory. We sincerely hope you enjoyed our coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and make sure to check out what else our site offers from sports to pop culture and everything in between. If you enjoy podcasts, consider downloading our show “The FlipCast” with new episodes coming out every week.

We will have a full tournament recap coming later in the week, but until then, au revoir pour le moment. Thanks for reading.

Women’s World Cup: Final Preview

Four weeks of almost endless soccer all comes down to this, the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup between defending champions the United States and reigning European champions the Netherlands.

For the United States, everything has led to this moment as they go for a second straight World Cup title and fourth in their illustrious women’s soccer history. On the other end, this all new ground for a Netherlands side who never played in a Women’s World Cup tournament as early as five years ago.

Now the two sides will meet in Lyon to determine who leaves France as champions and with a new star above their crest.


The Teams

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via FIFA.com

Two team. One trophy. It’s the old guard of the United States taking on the newcomers in the Netherlands for the right to be crowned World Cup champions on Sunday in Lyon. Here’s a quick rundown of both sides, what to expect from each, and how we expect them to lineup on the pitch.

United States

If you had to place money on one team to make the Final before the tournament, the United States would have been your best bet. This marks the third straight tournament that the United States will be making an appearance in the Final, a Women’s World Cup record. They also came into France as the defending champions and now are one win away from putting a fourth star above on their jerseys.

How they got here: def. England 2-1 in the semifinals

Projected Lineup: (4-3-3) Naeher; O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Horan, Ertz, Lavelle; Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe

Netherlands

There isn’t much women’s soccer history to write home about for the Netherlands, at least not before this tournament. After making their Women’s World Cup debut in 2015, the Dutch were crowned European champions in 2017 and now will play on the game’s biggest stage for the first time. They bring a talented attacking front into Lyon that will surely test the United States back line. It remains to be seen how they will stack up against the powerhouse American midfield.

How they got here: def. Sweden 1-0 in extra time in the semifinals

Projected Lineup: (4-3-3) Van Veenendaal; Van Lunteren, Van der Gragt, Bloodworth, Van Dongen; Groenen, Van de Donk, Spitse; Beerensteyn, Miedema, Martens


Third Place Match Recap

It’s not a match either side wanted to play, but like the men’s version, the Women’s World Cup also features a Third Place Match and it was England taking on Sweden for the bronze medal. A fast start then steady defense and timely saves sent Sweden home on a high with a 2-1 victory over the Lionesses.

England 1-2 Sweden

From the start, Sweden were playing on the front foot against and England side that looked completely disinterested in the early going. Goals by Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson in the opening 22 minutes pushed Sweden out to an early 2-0 lead, but England settled and found its game as the first half went on.

In a sign they would not go quietly, England cut the lead in half off a great solo run and finish from Fran Kirby in the 31st minute. Two minutes later England seemed to level the game when Ellen White scored her tournament leading 7th goal. Unfortunately for the English, VAR stepped in and overruled the goal as the result of a handball by White.

England continued to push for an equalizer in the second half and were clearly the better side as time ticked away. Lucy Bronze had a wide open look at goal off a rebound but her volley shot was cleared off the line by a Swedish defender. Sweden held on the rest of the wy and secured a third place finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Goals

  • Kosovare Asllani | SWE (11′)
  • Sofia Jakobsson | SWE (22′)
  • Fran Kirby | ENG (31′)

Highlights


Women’s World Cup Final

It all comes down to this, the United States versus the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon with the Women’s World Cup title on the line. It’s the odds on favorite who has been here before against the popular dark horse on the biggest stage for the first time. Both sides bring elite attacking units into the match, but the midfield is where the match, and the title, could be decided.

United States v. Netherlands

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via @FOXSoccer

Make no mistake, these are two very good teams who both have earned their right to play for a World Cup championship. The United States battled their way through an incredibly difficult slate of knockout matches while the Netherlands did the same on their side of the bracket. Both sides have elite attacking talent up front that can pour in the goals, but the midfield is where this match could very well be won or lost. That is a huge advantage for the United States who have the best midfield in the world regardless of who they put on the field. If the Netherlands is to win this game, they will need their attackers to exploit a vulnerable United States back line on the counter attack.

  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch the Women’s World Cup Final live on FOX or by streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time


Final Prediction

There is a clear favorite in this match and a clear underdog, but that means very little once the ball is kicked. Netherlands likes to play an open style that allows them to get looks at goal, but it also presents a precarious situation when facing the United States. Playing such an open style can make them vulnerable to attack going the other way and that’s where the United States shines the brightest. Whoever they play in midfield will have plenty of time and space to make plays and get the ball to one of Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, or Megan Rapinoe. That is a deadly combination and should be what propels the United States to a fourth Women’s World Cup title.

Our Pick

United States 3, Netherlands 1


Golden Boot Outlook

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

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via FIFA.com

No goals for Ellen White on Saturday meaning she is eliminated from the Golden Boot race. It all comes down to Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on Sunday.


Once the Women’s World Cup Final is over we will have one last World Cupdate post on Monday morning recapping the action and that will bring an end to our daily coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. There will be a full tournament recap running later in the week so keep checking back so you don’t miss out.

Women’s World Cupdate: Dutch Delight

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Wednesday, July 3rd

Five years ago, the Netherlands had never played in a Women’s World Cup or an Olympic games. Fast forward to now, the Netherlands have qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and advanced to their first ever Women’s World Cup Final with a 1-0 victory over Sweden in the semifinals. Ninety minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner, so the match went to extra time where Jackie Groenen etched her name in Dutch soccer lore with a 99th minute strike to set up a date with the United States.

Netherlands 1-0 Sweden (Extra Time)

It took over two hours of soccer and a lot of close calls, but when the final whistle finally blew at the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday, it was the Netherlands who prevailed in extra time over Sweden to advance to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.

For most of the first half, Sweden looked the better side and were creating havoc for the Netherlands defense each time up the field. While dictating the match is great, you need something to show for it or risk losing all that momentum. That’s an issue the Swedes ran into before halftime, creating looks at goal, but coming away empty handed each time, settling for a scoreless draw at the break.

Perhaps the Netherlands gained some momentum from holding off the Sweden first half barrage, because they returned the favor in the second half of play. It was much the same case as Sweden in the first half, tons of chances but nothing on the scoreboard. Part of the reason for that, was an incredible save by Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the 64th minute that she got just enough of her fingers on parry away.

Eventually, full time came to a close with the scoreboard reading 0-0, meaning the match was heading to 30 minutes of extra to (potentially) decide a winner. Looking to avoid the prospect of penalty kicks, both teams went for the kill in extra time and the Netherlands was the side rewarded for their efforts. In the 99th minute, Jackie Groenen received a pass outside the box with a clean look at goal, she struck her shot and placed it perfectly to the far post to give the Netherlands the lead.

Sweden tried and tried for an equalizer with the remaining time, but it was to no avail as the Netherlands defense held its ground to preserve the 1-0 victory and a spot in the Final on Sunday where they will take on the United States. Sweden will head to the Third Place Match on Saturday where England awaits in Nice.

Goals

  • Jackie Groenen | NED (99′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

For over 90 minutes, it was the goalkeepers putting on a show in Lyon before Jackie Groenen stepped up and scored the biggest goal in her life and the biggest goal in the history of Dutch women’s soccer.

Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

Everytime Sweden pressed for the opening goal, Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal was there to deny the opportunity. Timely saves in both halves, including the one above, kept the game level long enough for the Netherlands to stay alive.

Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden)

There is a very good chance Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl is named the best goalkeeper of the tournament and saves like this are why. She gets just enough on this shot to send it off the crossbar and keep the game scoreless in the second half.

Jackie Groenen (Netherlands)

Simply the biggest goal in Netherlands women’s football history and it’s Jackie Groenen writing her name in the history book for all eternity. Perfect shot to place the ball far post out of the reach of the goalkeeper to send the Netherlands to its first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.


Bracket Update

Here’s a quick look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout bracket after the semifinal round.

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via @FOXSoccer

Semifinals are done and the Final is set. It all comes down to the United States and the Netherlands on Sunday in Lyon to decide who wins the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Third place will be decided on Saturday when England and Sweden meet in Nice for the opportunity to end the tournament on a high note.

Third Place Match

July 6th: England v. Sweden

Women’s World Cup Final

July 7th: United States v. Netherlands

There will be an extensive Final preview up on the site this weekend, detailing the matchup between the United States and the Netherlands down to the finest details. Keep an eye open so you can be fully prepared for Sunday.


Here’s What’s Next: Saturday, July 6th

Before we can determine a champion, we must find out who takes home the third place medals. For a second straight tournament, England finds themselves in the Third Place Match where they will face Sweden at the Stade de Nice. It’s a match no one wants to play in, but it will give one side a chance to leave France with a medal and a somewhat less bitter taste in their mouths.

England v. Sweden

It can be hard to correctly preview a third place match at a World Cup because there are so many variables to consider. For one, neither side wants to be there and you just hope they are playing with 100% effort to make it worth while. Third place at a World Cup carries much less weight than say third place in the Olympics.

Secondly, teams often mke wholesale lineup changes because of the lowered stakes involved with the match. It’s hard to say what changes may be made, but it’s safe to presume both England and Sweden will have some fresh faces in the lineup. You can probably assume both Lucy Bronze and Ellen White will take the pitch for England with both having individual awards to play for.

On the Swedish side, Hedvig Lindahl is in the mix for best goalkeeper at the tournament so she may get the nod to further cement her resume.

  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Location: Stade de Nice (Nice)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch all the matches live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

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

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via FIFA.com

All the semifinal matches did for the Golden Boot race was reinforce the point that it’s a three player showdown for the title. Alex Morgan and Ellen White both scored on Tuesday and remained tied on six goals. Megan Rapinoe did not play and still only sits one behind.

White will take the field Saturday with the opportunity to go back in front and put pressure on Morgan and Rapinoe who play Sunday. At least the latter two will know exactly what they will have to do on Sunday if they hope to win the Golden Boot.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

Women’s World Cupdate: One Finalist Booked

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Tuesday, July 2nd

Nothing has come easy for the United States in the knockout rounds at this Women’s World Cup, and that remained true on Tuesday against England. Surprise starter Christen Press opened the scoring early, then Golden Boot leader Alex Morgan scored the winner just past the half hour mark. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a clutch penalty save late, and the United States advanced to the Final on Sunday.

England 1-2 United States

For United States fans, these knockout games have been anything but a breeze, and that trend continued on Tuesday as the USWNT did just enough to down England in their semifinal match by a score of 2-1 at the Stade de Lyon.

United States coach Jill Ellis shocked everyone when she inserted Christen Press into the lineup over Megan Rapinoe who scored the team’s last four goals coming into the match. Whether a strategic change or an injury replacement, Ellis’ decision paid immediate dividends as Press opened the scoring with a header in the 10th minute to give the US another early lead.

It looked like the United States was going to start running away with the game after the opening goal, but England fought back and tied the match just nine minutes later. Tournament co-leading scorer Ellen White took the Golden Boot lead for the first time with a clever redirection off a cross that found the top corner in the 19th minute.

Suddenly sitting in second place in the race for the Golden Boot, Alex Morgan clawed her way back into a tie atop the standings with her first goal since the opening match against Thailand. Positioning herself right in front of goal, Morgan got her head on the end of a Lindsey Horan pass to put the United States back in front 2-1 in the 31st minute. The goal gave Morgan six for the tournament, tying her with White.

From this point forward, the United States was determined to make this lead stand and they did just that, but not without a scare late in the game. With less than 10 minutes remaining, a VAR decision awarded England a penalty and a chance to force extra time. Captain Steph Houghton stepped to the spot, but her shot was stopped by American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to keep the United States lead intact. That was the last chance England would have, and the United States finished out the match to book a spot in the Women’s World Cup Final against either Sweden or the Netherlands on Sunday.

Goals

  • Christen Press | USA (10′)
  • Ellen White | ENG (19′)
  • Alex Morgan | USA (31′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

Three goals made up the scoring in Tuesday’s thrilling semifinal match between England and the United States, but it was Alyssa Naeher’s late penalty save that stole the show in Lyon.

Rose Lavelle (United States)

Before the scoring started, United States midfielder Rose Lavelle created the first chance of the game after nutmegging an English defender and forcing a save with a rocket shot from the right side.

Christen Press (United States)

It turned a lot of heads when news broke that Christen Press was starting in place of Megan Rapinoe against England. Press only needed 10 minutes to show why Jill Ellis made the right call in playing her.

Ellen White (England)

For a brief moment, Ellen White gave England hope and put herself on top of the Golden Boot race. Her top corner deflection brought the Lionesses back level just when it looked like things could have got out of hand early.

Alex Morgan (United States)

Alex Morgan didn’t give White much time to enjoy her view from the top, jumping back into the Golden Boot lead and putting the United States in front for good with a header off a classy Lindsey Horan pass.

Alyssa Naeher (United States)

Unless Alyssa Naeher does something truly spectacular on Sunday in the Final, this will go down as the biggest save of her career. Facing the prospect of extra time, Naeher stepped up and stopped a Steph Houghton penalty to keep the United States in front late.


Bracket Update

Here’s a quick look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout bracket after the first semifinal match.

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via @FOXSoccer

Semifinal one is in the books and it’s the United States claiming stake to the first spot in the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday in Lyon. They await the winner of Sweden/Netherlands on Wednesday. England comes up just short for a second straight tournament, but they still have a chance to end on a high note when they take part in the Third Place Match on Saturday.

Women’s World Cup Final

July 7th: United States v. Netherlands/Sweden

Third Place Match

July 6th: England v. Netherlands/Sweden


Here’s What’s Next: Wednesday, July 3rd

We know the United States will be playing in the Women’s World Cup Final, now we have to see who will be joining them at Stade de Lyon on Sunday. It will all come down to Sweden and the Netherlands on Wednesday to determine who keeps their hopes of a Women’s World Cup title alive, and who heads to the Third Place Match to face England.

Netherlands v. Sweden

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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.

  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FS1

You can watch all the matches live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

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

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via FIFA.com

Alex Morgan and Ellen White both register goals in Tuesday’s semifinal match to remain in a dead heat for the Golden Boot. White will play in the Third Place Match on Saturday, meaning Morgan will know exactly what she has to do to win the top prize in the Final on Sunday.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

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.

D-P8n3FUIAME_AI
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

Screen-Shot-2019-06-29-at-00.11.29.png
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.

Women’s World Cupdate: Semis Are Set

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Saturday, June 29th

One final day of quarterfinal action at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup provided plenty of fireworks and gave us our final two sides to complete the semifinal picture. At a boiling Stade du Hainaut, the Netherlands powered their way past an exhausted Italy side to reach their first ever Women’s World Cup semifinal. Later in the day, Sweden finally found the answer to Germany’s stalwart defense, and pulled off the upset to set up a meeting with the Netherlands in Lyon.

Italy 0-2 Netherlands

Two sides who already made so much history at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup were looking to make even more on Saturday. Due to the knockout format, only one side could leave Valenciennes happy, and it was the Netherlands who emerged victorious with a 2-0 victory over fellow European side Italy.

With temperatures soaring above 90 degrees, it was going to be a war of attrition between the squads to see who could survive long enough to advance. In the end, it was a superior Netherlands side taking the win, but Italy did not make it easy on them throughout the match.

Through the first 45 minutes of action, the Italy defense held the Netherlands off the scoreboard, but their offense wasted a few prime chances, allowing the Dutch to escape the first half in a scoreless draw. That all changed in the latter stages of the second half when the fresher Dutch legs just wore a tired Italy team into the ground. Vivianne Miedema gave her side the lead in the 70th minute, then Stefanie van der Gragt put the game away ten minutes later. Italy put up a valiant effort, but the talent and fitness of the Netherlands prevailed in the end.

With the win, the Netherlands advance to their first ever Women’s World Cup semifinal where they will face Sweden on Wednesday. For Italy, it is a bitter end to a historic tournament that gives them much to build on for the future.

Goals

  • Vivianne Miedema | NED (70′)
  • Stefanie van der Gragt | NED (80′)

Highlights

Germany v. Sweden

Through four games in France, Germany appeared to be the best side in the tournament, winning all for contests while allowing no goals to the opposition. In the opening 15 minutes against Sweden, it looked to be more of the same, until Sweden flipped the script and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament with a 2-1 victory.

Germany were relentless in the early going and were rewarded for their dominant play with one of the finest goals you will see at any level of the game. Lina Magull nearly botched a great pass that put her alone against the keeper, but she gathered herself and blasted home a half-volley shot with a scissor kick to give Germany the 1-0 lead.

It appeared as if Germany were in complete command, but everything came unraveled just six minutes after Magull put them in front. Sofia Jakobsson ran under a long ball from a teammate, broke through the German back line, then neatly deposited it into the back of the net to even the score and record the first goal against Germany in this tournament.

Halftime came and went with the score tied, but just three minutes out of the break, things went from bad to worse for the Germans. Off a terrific save by the German keeper Almuth Schult, Stina Blackstenius was in the right place at the right time to collect the rebound and hammer it home to give Sweden a 2-1 lead in the second half.

That goal from Blackstenius turned out to be enough, as Sweden locked down on defense and held on for the victory and a semifinal showdown with the Netherlands in Lyon. The victory also erased a 24 year losing streak against Germany in major tournament play.

Goals

  • Lina Magull | GER (16′)
  • Sofia Jakobsson | SWE (22′)
  • Stina Blackstenius | SWE (48′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

The final day of quarterfinal play at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup provided us with plenty of moments to talk about from scissor kicks, to historic headers, and a goal that finally cracked a flawless Germany defense.

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Vivianne Miedema is only 22 years old and already the leading scoring in Netherlands history. Her goal on Saturday not only added to her total, but sent the Dutch to their first Women’s World Cup semifinal birth in the nation’s history.

Lina Magull (Germany)

Not exactly the picture perfect first touch from Magull off a brilliant pass, but she more than made up for it with a dazzling scissor kick goal that put Germany in front early and rewarded them for a dominating start against Sweden.

Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden)

This was just an overall brilliant team goal from start to finish for Sweden. Jakobsson will get the accolades for her finish, but the long ball from teammate Linda Sembrandt that sprung her free was world class as well.


Bracket Update

Here’s a quick look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout bracket with the final two quarterfinal matches now complete.

D-P8n3FUIAME_AI.jpg
via @FOXSoccer

With the Netherlands and Sweden winning on Saturday, the semifinal matches are now set. England and the United States meet on Tuesday with the Netherlands and Sweden set to square off on Wednesday. Both matches will take place at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.

Semifinal Outlook

July 2nd: England v. United States

July 3rd: Netherlands v. Germany/Sweden

As we have done for both the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals to this point, we will run a special preview of the Semifinals before action kicks off on Tuesday in Lyon. We’ll discuss all the teams, preview the matches, and tell you what to watch out for as the remaining four sides battle it out for a spot in the Women’s World Cup Final.


Here’s What’s Next: Tuesday, July 2nd

Semifinal action at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Tuesday with the first of the two matches taking place at the Stade de Lyon. Both semifinal matches and the Final will take place in Lyon, with the Third Place Match heading a little farther south to Nice.

It will be the United States and England getting the semifinal round underway in a match between two long standing rivals, at least from a political standpoint. The rivalry from a soccer standpoint carries much less history, but it should be a great match nonetheless between two of the best sides in the world.

England v. United States

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.

  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch all these matches live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


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.png
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.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

Women’s World Cupdate: Rapinoe Shines in Paris

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Friday, June 28th

All the hype and all the waiting for France and the United States was worth it as the two nations turned in a match we will not soon forget. Megan Rapinoe bagged another brace and Crystal Dunn turned in the performance of her career and right back to send the United States through to the semifinals and keep their dreams of a World Cup repeat alive.

France 1-2 United States

With all the hype surrounding the match, you could have forgiven France and the United States if they didn’t live up the everyone’s lofty expectations when they met on Friday in Paris. Instead, arguably the two best sides at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup delivered a match for ages at the historic Parc de Princes.

Once again the United States started fast, taking an early lead in the fifth minute when Megan Rapinoe sent a free kick towards goal that somehow snuck through everyone and past the France goalkeeper for a 1-0 USA lead. In all five of their games at this tournament, the United States has scored within the opening 12 minutes in every one.

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via @brfootball

Trailing just five minutes into a match is never ideal, but France settled quickly and found their game as the first half went along. For the most part, France looked the better side and controlled the bulk of possession. It appeared a goal was imminent, but for as much pressure as they were creating, nothing was materializing.

A lead is a lead, but that 1-0 lead looked very shaky and the United States seemed to know it. They came out guns blazing in the second half but were unable to find a second goal for some cushion. In the 65th minute, the breakthrough arrived and it was Megan Rapinoe once again finishing off a terrific counter attacking goal for a 2-0 lead.

Just when it looked like the United States could breath easy, France struck back to cut the lead in half and setup an intense final ten minutes. Off a set piece, France defender Wendie Renard was left unmarked in the box and headed home a ball to make the score 2-1 in the 81st minute.

Needing to just see the game out to advance, the United States defense locked down through the last moments and held France at bay. When the final whistle blew, the score line read 2-1 and the United States booked their spot in the semifinals where they will face England on Tuesday.

Goals

  • Megan Rapinoe | USA (5′, 65′)
  • Wendie Renard | FRA (81′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

It was supposed to be the match of the tournament before the team even arrived in France and it lived up to all the hype. Often time these affairs turn out to be underwhelming or duds altogether, but that was not the case between France and the United States who provided plenty of fireworks on Friday.

Megan Rapinoe (United States)

It was another double dose of goals for Megan Rapinoe on Friday against France and it was just enough to send the United States through to the semifinals. We may never know how her first goal made it through the swarm of bodies in front, but her second was a class finish to a great team passing play.

Crystal Dunn (United States)

One of the biggest questions coming into the match and into this tournament as a whole was Crystal Dunn’s play at right back. Dunn is not a defender by trade, but that’s where head coach Jill Ellis has been deploying her. Dunn’s performance against France may go down as the best showing on her career.

Wendie Renard (France)

As the rock of the France back line Wendie Renard was going to do everything in her power to make sure her side did not go down without a fight. Just when it looked like the United States was sailing into the semifinals, Renard headed home her fourth goal of the tournament to make things interesting.


Bracket Update

A look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket as it stands after Friday’s quarterfinal match.

D-LUqJzUEAAzz8f.jpg
via @FOXSoccer

Halfway through the quarterfinal round at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and we have our first semifinal matchup set in stone. England and the United States will meet in Lyon on Tuesday with a spot in the World Cup Final on the line.

Semifinal Outlook

July 2nd: England v. United States

July 3rd: Italy/Netherlands v. Germany/Sweden


Here’s What’s Next: Saturday, June 29th

Two teams have booked their places in the semifinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and now it’s time to find out who will be joining them in Lyon. This is the only day of the quarterfinal round with two matches on the schedule, meaning we will know the second semifinal matchup by day’s end. First up, Italy and Netherlands do battle in a match of dark horses, then Germany meets Sweden for the final semifinal spot.

Italy v. Netherlands

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 11.21.09 PM

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.

  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Location: Stade de Hainaut (Valenciennes)
  • How to Watch: FS1

Germany v. Sweden

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 11.22.13 PM

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.

  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Roazhon Park (Rennes)
  • How to Watch: FS1

You can watch all these games live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

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

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 8.21.03 PM.png
via FIFA.com

No goals from Alex Morgan but a brace from Megan Rapinoe means she joins Morgan and Ellen White on five goals apiece. This means the three top scorers at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will all be on the same pitch when England and the United States meet in the semifinals.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

Women’s World Cupdate: England Prevail

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Thursday, June 27th

A lackluster showing against Cameroon was quickly wiped from memory for England, securing a second straight semifinal trip with a dominating 3-0 victory over Norway on Thursday in Le Havre.

Jill Scott opened the scoring early, Ellen White doubled the lead before half, then Lucy Bronze put an exclamation point on the match with a laser strike that all but sealed the win for the Lionesses. Now they sit and wait for France and the United States to battle it out for the right to meet them for a semifinal showdown in Lyon next week.

Norway 0-3 England

For as unconvincing as England looked in their Round of 16 match against Cameroon, they looked every bit the team everyone thought they could be in a 3-0 drubbing of Norway on Thursday to advance to a second straight World Cup semifinals.

England wasted little time getting on the scoresheet, taking a 1-0 lead in just the third minute of action. Ellen White whiffed her shot attempt off a pass from Lucy Bronze, but the ball trickled through to Jill Scott who made the most of her opportunity and clanged a shot home off the far post to put the Lionesses in front.

With the early lead, England could smell blood and went for the throat. Ellen White hit the post on a volley in the 29th minute, but would not be denied a second time just ten minutes later. White went on a great run and set herself up in front of goal for an easy tap in to push the England lead to 2-0 before halftime. With the goal, White moved into a tie for first place in the Golden Boot race with Alex Morgan and Sam Kerr.

Coming into the tournament, England right back Lucy Bronze received high praise from her manager Phil Neville and the rest of the soccer world. On Thursday, Bronze showed exactly why the heavy praise was well earned. Bronze assisted on the opening goal by Scott, then added her own tally which may go down as the goal of the tournament when it’s all said and done. Her strike pushed the England advantage to 3-0, more than enough to send the Lionesses into the semifinals.

Goals

  • Jill Scott | ENG (3′)
  • Ellen White | ENG (40′)
  • Lucy Bronze | ENG (57′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

When there is only one game on the schedule, it can be difficult to pick out a set of top plays from the day. Luckily for us, Lucy Bronze of England and Ingrid Hjelmseth of Norway gave us something to remember from an otherwise lopsided affair.

Lucy Bronze (England)

You won’t see a ball hit much cleaner than Lucy Bronze hits this strike to put England up 3-0 over Norway in their quarterfinal match. Perfect set piece, perfect shot, perfect result for England who advance to the semifinals.

Ingrid Hjelmseth (Norway)

It mattered little to the end result, but Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth never quit regardless of what the scoreline said. She came up with a big penalty stop on Nikita Parris late to give herself something to hang her hat on, on an otherwise bleak day.


Bracket Update

A look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket as it stands after Thursday’s quarterfinal match.

D-GM6qBUcAAhmPt.jpg
via @FOXSoccer

England become the first squad to book a spot in the semifinals with a 3-0 victory over Norway. They now sit and wait to see who they will play on July 2nd in Lyon, either France or the United States. We won’t have any clarity on the right side of the bracket until Saturday when the last two quarterfinals matches take place.

Semifinal Outlook

July 2nd: England v. France/United States

July 3rd: Italy/Netherlands v. Germany/Sweden


Here’s What’s Next: Friday, June 28th

It has finally arrived. The match everyone has been waiting for is now upon us, as host nation France and the United States meet in Paris for a spot in the semifinals and a date with England in Lyon. Simply put, this has been the most highly anticipated match for some time, and now the wait is over. Famed Parc de Princes is the site for what many believe may be the match that determines who wins the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

France v. United States

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 11.22.51 PM

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.

  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Parc de Princes (Paris)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch all these games live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

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

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 7.14.08 PM.png
via FIFA.com

Alex Morgan and Sam Kerr have some company atop the Golden Boot standings following Thursday’s action. Ellen White scored her fifth goal of the tournament, moving her into a tie for the top spot and she very nearly could have had a few more. It was also White’s sixth career Women’s World Cup goal, the most ever by a Lionesses player.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

Women’s World Cup: Quarterfinal Preview

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.


The Teams

D9_VtomVUAQimWg.jpg
via @FOXSoccer

 

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

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

France

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

Germany

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

Italy

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

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

Norway

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

Sweden

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

United States

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


The Bracket

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

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via @FOXSoccer

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.


Quarterfinal Matches

 

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

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 11.21.46 PM.png
via dugout.com

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

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 11.22.51 PM.png
via dugout.com

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

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via dugout.com

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

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via dugout.com

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.

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via FIFA.com

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.

Women’s World Cupdate: European Delight

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Tuesday, June 25th

There are eight spots in the Quarterfinal round at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and after Tuesday’s results, seven of those eight spots will be occupied by a European side. Italy and the Netherlands both made some more history in their respective matches, each winning their first ever knockout game at a Women’s World Cup. In the opening match, Italy dominated China on the way to a 2-0 victory while the Netherlands needed a 90th minute penalty to move past Japan. The two sides will meet now meet in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Italy 2-0 China

Italy’s cinderella run at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will continue for at least one more game after the Azzurri scored early, then clamped down defensively for a 2-0 victory over China in the Round of 16.

Valentina Giacinti opened the scoring in the 15th minute, just moments having a goal taken away because of offsides. Giacinti started the play with a great tackle to take the ball away from the defender, then capped off the play by scoring after China was unable to clear the ball away from danger. China pushed back looking for a tying goal but were denied at every opportunity by the Italian defense or goalkeeper.

Shortly after the halftime break, the Italy lead was doubled when substitute Aurora Galli hit a hot low and hard that the goalkeeper could not reach. That was more than Italy needed in the end, keeping China off the board the rest of the way and sealing a spot in the quarterfinals.

With the victory, Italy claims its first knockout victory in Women’s World Cup history and move on to face fellow first time knockout winner Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Saturday. For China, this will be the first time they do not qualify for the quarterfinals in a tournament they have played in.

Goals

  • Valentina Giacinti | ITA (15′)
  • Aurora Galli | ITA (49′)

Highlights

Netherlands 2-1 Japan

At some point, a dark horse is no longer a dark horse and we are rapidly approaching that territory with the Netherlands after they advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over two-time World Cup finalist Japan.

Lieke Martens is no stranger to making history at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and she added to that legacy on Tuesday. Back in 2015, Martens scored the first Dutch goal in Women’s World Cup history in their debut tournament. Fast forward four years and Martens in making more history, scoring a brace against Japan to send her side into the next round.

Martens opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a clever back heel deflection off a corner kick that nutmegged a Japanese defender in front and rolled across the line far post to give the Netherlands and early lead. Just before the half, Japan answered back with a goal of their own to bring the game back level. Yui Hasegawa finished off a beautiful team play with a clever chip over the goalkeeper to tie the game.

After Japan missed several chances to take the lead late in the second half, the Netherlands were awarded a penalty after a Japan handball in the box. It was Martens stepping up and coming through from the spot to send the Netherlands back in front and into the next round with her second goal of the match.

The Netherlands joined Italy in winning its first ever Women’s World Cup knockout match on Tuesday, and now they will face-off in the quarterfinals on Saturday. After back-to-back Women’s World Cup Final appearances, Japan sees its run end in the Round of 16.

Goals

  • Lieke Martens | NED (17′, 90′ PEN)
  • Yui Hasegawa | JPN (43′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

Another day of big plays brought the Round of 16 to a close and helped push Italy and the Netherlands to the quarterfinals with their first ever knockout victories at a Women’s World Cup.

Laura Giuliani (Italy)

It was a rather convincing performance for Italy in its victory over China, but who knows how things could have played out had Laura Giuliani not been able to get her hand on this shot to keep Italy in front in the first half.

Aurora Galli (Italy)

In the two games she has started in France, Aurora Galli has no goals. In the two games where she has come on as a substitute, Galli has scored three goals. Her strike on Tuesday was brilliant, but might only be her second best goal of the tournament after her strike against Jamaica in the group stage.

Lieke Martens (Netherlands)

Lieke Martens scored a brace on Tuesday, but it was her first goal that stands out. Off a corner kick, Martens flicks a back heel shot towards goal that nutmegs a Japanese defender and rolls in at the far post for an early Dutch lead.


Bracket Update

Tuesday brings an end to the Round of 16 and our quarterfinal matchups at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup are set. European squads claim seven of the eight available spots, with the United States being the only exception.

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Quarterfinals Outlook

June 27th: Norway v. England

June 28th: France v. United States

June 29th: Italy/China v. Netherlands/Japan

June 29th: Germany v. Sweden

Those are the four matches that will make up the Quarterfinal round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We will have a full preview on Thursday morning detailing all the matches and teams for the Quarterfinal round in France.


Here’s What’s Next: Thursday, June 27th

Round of 16 play is now in the books and our quarterfinal matchups are set. Eight teams survived, but before they can begin play in the quarterfinals, the tournament will take a day off on Wednesday before action resumes on Thursday with Norway taking on England with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

Norway (2A) v. England (1D)

It’s always fun when a favorite meets a true dark horse contender this late in the tournament because that usually means both sides are playing their best soccer at the right time. That’s the scenario we have between England and Norway as they prepare to meet in the first quarterfinal match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. England found a way past a physical Cameroon side while Norway needed a penalty shootout to make it here. Norway likes to go on the attack while England prefers to hit back on the counter. This should be an entertaining match to open up the next round of play in France.

  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade Océane (Le Havre)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch all these games live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

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

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via FIFA.com

Aurora Galli joins Italy teammate Cristiana Girelli in the Top 10 with her goal against China on Tuesday. After the Round of 16, seven players in the Golden Boot Top 10 will play in the quarterfinals.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.