2015 Women’s World Cup Last 16
The 2015 Women’s World Cup taking place in Canada has reached the knock-out stage with the 16 remaining sides battling it out to see which nation will lift the trophy on July 5th. In this report we take a look at the favourites, the dark horses and the also-rans.
The USA were beaten finalists last time out but they are one of the favourites to win the trophy that they last won in 1999. They came top of Group D, that’s the group of death by beating Sweden and Nigeria and drawing with Australia to set up a last 16 meeting with underdogs Colombia who qualified as one of the best third-placed teams. Germany scored a remarkable 15 times in the qualifying stages to come top of Group B and have been tipped by many to win the tournament but they will have to overcome a resolute Swedish side who finished third in the group of death having drawn all three of their games; that’s against the USA, Nigeria and of course Australia. This one will be a close affair but the Americans will probably have too much for the Swedes.
Now, it seems strange to call the current World Cup champions dark horses but few would tip Japan to repeat their amazing success from four years ago. The Nadeshiko finished top of Group C with 100% record and should be too strong for a Dutch side that finished behind both China and Canada in Group A. France are another side that are being tipped to do well particularly after their 5-0 thrashing of Mexico in their final group match that saw them finish top of Group F ahead of England. The French play Korea in the last 16 and should progress to the quarter-finals. They should also be joined in the last 8 by hosts Canada who take on the Swiss and Norway who will probably be too good for England.
Of course, it’s unfair to call a team that has progressed to the knockout stage of a World Cup as an also-ran, particularly as anything can happen in knock-out football but few pundits would give the Cameroonian side much of a chance against China or Colombia against the powerful USA though the African side only lost 1-2 against Japan, while Colombia defeated France in the group stage.
Well, which teams will make the last 8? I am going for China, France, Norway, Germany (but only just), Japan, Canada, Brazil and the USA to make it through to the quarter-finals. How about you, which teams do you think will make it through to the quarter-finals?
battling it out: Fighting, trying to make the last 8
also-rans: Teams with little or no chance
resolute: Hard to beat; determined
will probably have too much for: Will beat
100% record: They won all three of their games
Nadeshiko: The nickname of the Women’s team from Japan
thrashing: Heavy defeat
pundits: Football experts