The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has taken the world by storm over the past week. This is true too for Women’s Soccer, which kicked off a day before the opening ceremonies. The final matchday of the group stage has been completed! We now know who will be off to the quarterfinals. Let’s take a look back at the Olympic Women’s Football Matchday 3 recap
Olympic Women’s Football Matchday 3
The quest for Gold continues for eight nations who made their way through to the quarterfinals. It how did they get there? The final match day revealed it all. Blowout wins, scoreless draws, and back-and-forth bouts! Here’s a look back at how the field went from 12 teams to eight.
Group E has been a group dominated by Great Britain. The Brits won their first two matches securing their spot in the quarterfinals. Canada we’re not far behind but needed to get a win on the final day for a chance to win the group. Japan could finish second or third going into the final day, while Chile finished last no matter the result.
Canada Draw Great Brittian; GB takes group
Canada and Great Britain met on the final day in different positions. Great Britain knew that they were through to the knockout rounds but didn’t know if they’d finish in first or second. Canada needed to avoid a loss for a clear shot to the quarterfinals. A win for the Canucks would mean they’d take the top spot from Great Britain. The match itself was close, but heated bout.
The match began with both nations feeling the other out. There were no clear-cut chances for either side. The match went back and forth but Canada looked the better side for the first 45 minutes. As the game went into the second half, Canada continued to look like a side that would score. 10 minutes into the second half, they did just that. Adriana Leon put home an effort and gave Canada the lead. They needed to hold onto it to top the group, and it looked like they might just do that. That is until the 85th minute, an own goal gave Great Britain a share of the points.
The match ended 1-1. Great Britain won the group and Canada secured second place. Both were off to the quarterfinals!
Japan best Chile and make knockouts
Chile was already out of content for the knockout rounds before they took on Japan. Japan knew they’d need a win and some help to either finish second or a top third-place side. A win and a Canada loss would see them take second in the group, but if Canada took points Japan would have to settle for third place. In this match it looked like Chile might just play spoiler to the hosts!
Japan is a powerhouse in women’s football, Chile is a rising team. The Chileans showed that on the pitch that they weren’t afraid of the host nation Japan. The match was scoreless through the first half As it went to the second Chile still stifled Japan’s efforts. That is until the 77th minute when Mina Tanaka put in what would be the winning goal for Japan.
The match ended 1-0 in a or of the hosts. Japan would eventually make it to the quarterfinals as one of the top two third-place teams. Underdogs Chile head home from this tournament with zero points but a great experience.
Group F has shown that these teams are able to score boatloads of goals. The Netherlands and Brazil both had a win and draw each other in their first two matches. The final matchday for both was important as wins and goals would determine who would take first or second. China and Zambia each had a loss and draw coming into the final day. If either could get a win while other results went their way, then they had a chance to make the knockout rounds.
Brazil take second in group thanks to 1-0 win over Zambia
Brazil came into their final match knowing that if they could win their match and score a lot of goals that they could win the top spot of the group. Their opponent Zambia showed that you might be able to score on them, but they’d be able to score also. In this match, the opposite of fireworks occurred.
Early in the match, Zambia was behind the eightball as they got a red card in the 13th minute. Not six minutes late Brazil found a goal thanks to Andressa Alves. Zambia looked defeated after the goal, as they couldn’t play their normal style of play after the red card. Brazil looked content to sit on their lead and sub out some normal starters to save their legs. It was enough for Brazil to get the win!
Brazil beat Zambia 1-0, and ended up getting out of the group, but in which place?
Netherlands score eight vs China; win group F
Netherlands and China both showed in their first two matches that they could score, but only one showed that they had a decent defense. The Netherlands let in 8 goals through three matches, while China allowed 17. In this match, the Dutch side showed why they were finalists at the last World Cup.
Early in the match, both nations were able to score. It was 1-1 after 28 minutes, but then the floodgates opened for the Netherlands. Before halftime, Holland scored two more goals. Being up 3-1 at halftime wasn’t enough for the Netherlands. In the second half, they scored five more goals while allowing just one more from China. The Netherlands’ eight-goal performance meant that they were in the driver’s seat in Group F.
The Netherlands won Group F, while China was knocked out in third place after not having enough points to be one of the top-two third-place teams.
Group G had one runaway team. Sweden won both of their first two matches. They were set for the knockouts with one match to play. A win or draw on the final say would mean they win the group. USA and Australia both had a win and a loss. They met on the final day to determine who would finish second and who would be third. New Zealand was already knocked out before the final match as they lost their first two games.
Sweden dominate New Zealand; take top spot in group
Sweden was already through to the knockout rounds after beating Australia and the USA. In their final match, they took on a New Zealand side that was already eliminated from quarterfinals contention. The Kiwis had the opportunity to play spoilers and do something that no one else could do in their group, beat Sweden.
Early on in the match, it was clear that New Zealand would not be able to play that spoiler. Sweden took the match over from the start. The Swedes found a goal before the 20-minute mark. This seemed to do in New Zealand, but it was not over there. Sweden scored a second goal on the 30-minute mark to put the game away. Sweden spent the second half dominating play and subbing out starters to save their legs as the match ended in their favor.
Sweden won 2-0 and wong Group F, the only question that remained is who else would make it out of the group?
USA and Australia draw 0-0; both are through to the quarterfinals
In a match that was essentially one that determined who would make it to the knockout rounds, both the USA and Australia vastly underperformed. If one of the two nations were to get a win, then they would punch their ticket to the knockout rounds outright by taking second place in their group. The USA knew a win or a draw would be enough to keep them over Australia, but anything less than a win would be underwhelming. Australia needed to win to leap-frog the USA.
In the actual match, both nations tried to attack, but neither could really piece things together when it came to the final third. The final pass was missing, the runs were mistimed. Neither side looked better than the other. The USWNT was able to put the ball in the back of the net, but it was called off for offside thanks to VAR. That was the lone real chance.
The game ended up finishing in a nil-nil draw. The result was enough to send the USA through to the quarterfinals. They took second place in the group. Australia also made it through as one of the top-two third-place teams.
On to the Quarterfinals!
The quarterfinals are set! Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Netherlands, and USA are the final eight. They’ll fight for the chance to continue on. Whoever makes the semifinals will be able to play for a medal of some kind. The stakes are high! Here are the matchups for the quarterfinals:
- Canada vs Brazil | Friday, July 30 @ 4:00 am EST
- Great Britain vs Australia | July 30 @ 5:00 am EST
- Sweden vs Japan | July 30 @ 6:00 am EST
- Netherlands vs USA | July 30 @ 7:00 am EST
We at Philly Sports Network will continue to be here every step of the way to keep an eye on who will make it further in their quest for gold. There will be an in-depth look at the quarterfinals tomorrow After the action goes final come on back for a recap of all the action to see who is on to the semis!
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Mandatory Credit: Kishimoto/DPPI/Icon Sportswire