The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand have reached the knockout stage, with 16 teams competing for a place in the quarter-finals. The round of 16 matches took place from August 5 to August 8, with some thrilling games and surprising results. Here is a detailed summary of each match, with the goalscorers, key stats, and highlights.
Switzerland vs Spain
Spain showed their class and quality in a dominant 5-1 win over Switzerland, who had finished second in Group A behind hosts New Zealand. Spain took an early lead through Aitana Bonmati, who scored twice in the first half, either side of an own goal by Laia Codina. Alba Redondo and Codina added two more goals for Spain before the break. Spain had 70% possession and 10 shots, compared to Switzerland’s 1 shot. Spain advanced to the quarter-finals for the second consecutive time, while Switzerland bowed out in their debut appearance.
Japan vs Norway
Japan proved too strong for Norway, who had topped Group A with three wins. Japan took advantage of an own goal by Ingrid Engen in the 15th minute and doubled their lead through Shimizu Risa in the 50th minute. Norway pulled one back through Guro Reiten in the 20th minute, but Japan sealed their victory with a third goal by Miyazawa Hinata in the 81st minute. Japan had more shots (4 vs 3) and accuracy (61% vs 39%) than Norway, who failed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1995.
Netherlands vs South Africa
The Netherlands continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win over South Africa, who had qualified as one of the best third-placed teams. The Netherlands scored the first goal in the 9th minute of the match by Jill Roord, who latched on the rebound from the goalkeeper of South Africa. The match’s second goal came in the 68th, which Lineth Beerensteyn scored. The Netherlands had 70% possession and 14 shots, while South Africa had only 7 shots on target. The Netherlands reached the quarter-finals for the second time, while South Africa exited in their first appearance.
Sweden vs United States
The most anticipated match of the round of 16 was between the USA vs Sweden, who are ranked 1st and ranked 2nd in the world FIFA ranking. It was a tough match for both teams as the match ended 0-0 and it went to penalties in which Sweden won against the USA. It was a thrilling penalty as the first missed penalty was from the Sweden side when Nathalie Bjorn missed to score it, but after that, Megan Rapinoe missed her penalty kick too. Sweden won by 5-4 by penalty due to an amazing performance by the goalkeeper of Sweden, Z. Musovic. It was a dramatic finish when VAR gave the last penalty goal.
England vs Nigeria
Nigeria gave a tough challenge to England to hold them on a 0-0 scoreline till the end of the full time, and it went to a penalty shootout. England had more possession and passing numbers, but Nigeria held them off quite well, and they had more shots taken compared to England’s team, which is quite an amazing performance by them. In the 87th minute, Lauren James got a red card after she tackled M. Alozie.
In the penalty shootout, both teams started off with a missing penalty as Georgia Stanway missed from the England side, and Desire Oparanozie missed from the Nigeria side. Michelle Alozie missed the second penalty for Nigeria’s team, and after that, England could score in every penalty kick to win the match by 4-2. It was disheartening for Nigeria to lose the penalty after coming this far in the world cup.
France vs Morocco
Morocco women’s team also did what their men’s team did in the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they were able to reach the round of 16 in their debut season, but their journey ended in the round of 16 because they lost to France by 4-0 as it was just one-sided match from the starting minute. Kadidiat Diani opened the score in the 15th minute, and soon after, Kenza Dali scored the second goal of the match in the 20th minute. Eugenie Le Sommer scored twice in the match as she scored in the 23rd and in the 70th minutes to add two more goals for the France team.
Australia vs Denmark
Australia came on top against the tough side of Denmark and defeated them by a 2-0 scoreline to reach the round quarter-final, where they will go up against fearsome France. Australia dominated in the last round of 16 matches as Caitlin Foord scored the first goal of the match in the 29th minute. The second goal came in the 70th minute of the match, as Hayley Raso scored the goal for Australia to give them a 2-0 scoreline. The Australian team is looking confident, and they will give a tough fight to Denmark.
Colombia vs Jamaica
Colombia and Jamaica had a tough match against each other in the round of 16 in which the Colombian team came out as the winner by the slightest margin of 1 goal which Catalina Usme scored in the 51st minute of the match. The match was quite thrilling as both defenses did their part, not letting the other opposition keep the possession for long, which is why the split possession percentage for them was 51 to 49, but Colombia was a more attacking team as they took 11 shots.
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