New Zealand v. Norway
Philippines v. Switzerland
Australia v. Ireland
Nigeria v. Canada
Spain v. Costa Rica
Zambia v. Japan
England v. Haiti
Denmark v. China
United States v. Vietnam
Netherlands v. Portugal
France v. Jamaica
Brazil v. Panama
Sweden v. South Africa
Italy v. Argentina
Germany v. Morocco
Colombia v. South Korea
Teams get three factors for a win and one level for a draw. The first tiebreaker is aim differential — the whole quantity of targets scored in group play minus the targets allowed. The subsequent tiebreaker is the most targets scored in group play.
The Philippines is making its World Cup debut this 12 months, and far stays to be seen about the new, younger squad. It reached the semifinals in the 2022 Asian Cup and recorded a 3-0 win towards a European facet, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a pleasant match final 12 months. The fledgling workforce options a number of Filipino Americans, together with forwards Sarina Bolden and Quinley Quezada.
The match co-hosts have but to win a sport in 5 World Cup appearances, and this 12 months is probably not any totally different. The Football Ferns opened 2023 with a 1-6-1 file in pleasant matches, and the workforce might be with out midfielder Katie Rood, who suffered a torn A.C.L., and heart again Abby Erceg, who retired from worldwide play this 12 months.
After lacking out on the 2019 World Cup, Switzerland certified for this 12 months’s match by squeaking out a 2-1 victory over Wales in additional time. The Swiss have an honest shot of making it out of the group stage this 12 months, too. Even with a loss to Norway, a win over match first-timers the Philippines and a winless New Zealand would virtually definitely be sufficient to see them via.
After successful the title in 1995 and making it so far as the semifinals in 4 of the first 5 Women’s World Cups, Norway hasn’t been as dominant lately. After a brutal 8-0 defeat to England eventually summer season’s European Championship, the Norwegians have been wanting to rebuild. Ada Hegerberg, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, returns to the nationwide workforce after a five-year hiatus, and the workforce has a brand new supervisor in Hege Riise, the most capped participant in Norwegian historical past.
The co-hosts enter the match with appreciable momentum, having gained eight of their final 9 video games. The star striker Sam Kerr leads a deep squad of gamers drawn largely from the main leagues of Europe and the N.W.S.L., giving Australia a very good shot of advancing atop Group B. Its final group match, towards Canada, might be the most troublesome.
Africa’s most embellished workforce returns to its ninth straight World Cup with excessive hopes and a current string of wins over Costa Rica, Haiti and match co-host New Zealand. The Super Falcons might be wanting to Asisat Oshoala, the 28-year-old Barcelona striker and five-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year, to lead the workforce into the knockout stage.
This 12 months marks Ireland’s first look at a serious girls’s worldwide match — World Cup, Olympics or European Championship — which it earned with a 1-0 win over Scotland in a playoff match final 12 months. The Irish are hopeful that the star midfielder Denise O’Sullivan, who performs with the North Carolina Courage of the N.W.S.L, might be wholesome for his or her opening sport towards co-host Australia.
The Canadians gained gold at the most up-to-date Olympics, in Tokyo, however their current World Cup performances have been a lot much less spectacular: They prolonged their keep past the first knockout spherical solely as soon as in the final twenty years. Early wins towards Nigeria and Ireland can be particularly welcome for Canada in securing a spot in the knockout spherical, because it faces the co-host and a match favourite, Australia, in its final group sport.
Spain may show to be the largest menace to the United States this summer season. Its nationwide workforce relies largely on the Barcelona workforce that has grow to be the dominant pressure in European membership soccer, led by the reigning world participant of the 12 months, Alexia Putellas. Spain opens the match with two simpler group matches, which it ought to win handily, earlier than assembly a stronger opponent in Japan.
Zambia, one of eight match debutantes, is one of the most fun and likewise one of the most unpredictable groups. The Copper Queens secured their spot at the match by upsetting Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, however their outcomes this 12 months have been extra blended: 4 wins and 4 losses, together with a formidable 3-2 win over Germany at a pleasant this month. One to watch: Barbra Banda, who scored back-to-back hat methods at the final Olympics.
Las Ticas return for under their second World Cup look, clinching a spot in the match after advancing to the semifinals of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. Recently, Costa Rica has misplaced video games to Poland and Scotland — two groups that didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Still, it enters the match with large expectations. Costa Rica has a standout in Raquel Rodríguez, the Portland Thorns stalwart often known as Rocky and one of the finest midfielders in the N.W.S.L.
After upsetting the Americans and taking dwelling the 2011 World Cup title, Japan has struggled lately to reclaim its place at the prime of world soccer. A crushing 5-2 loss in the 2015 World Cup closing to the U.S. didn’t assist, nor did an early exit in the spherical of 16 at the final match. But there’s hope for the Japanese this 12 months. They function a number of thrilling gamers: Yui Hasegawa, a deft playmaker for Manchester City, and Jun Endo, a artful ahead for Angel City of the N.W.S.L.
The Lionesses gained the European Championship final summer season, the workforce’s first main honor, and adopted that up with a victory in the Finalissima — a sport between the European and South American champions — this 12 months. But England is with out a number of key gamers this World Cup, together with the workforce captain, Leah Williamson, and faces powerful group opponents in Denmark and China. A decisive win towards Haiti in its opening sport would go a good distance in serving to England attain the knockout stage.
After lacking the final three World Cups, the Danes are lastly again and seem in stable kind this 12 months. They tallied large wins over Norway, Japan and Sweden in 2023 and are led by their captain and veteran worldwide, Pernille Harder, a striker for Bayern Munich.
Haiti certified for its first World Cup by beating Chile, 2-1, on two targets by the teenage midfielder Melchie Dumornay. She leads a squad of largely youngsters and 20-somethings, providing Haiti an abundance of vitality and optimism that it’ll hope could make up for its lack of expertise on the worldwide stage.
China’s fall from world soccer powerhouse — keep in mind the 1999 World Cup closing? — has been sluggish and regular over the previous twenty years, however this would possibly lastly be the 12 months the Steel Roses flip issues round. They’ve obtained troublesome group opponents in England and Denmark, but when they’ll handle a attract one of these video games and a win over Haiti, that might be sufficient to ship them via.
The U.S., a perennial favourite, is searching for its third straight World Cup title — a feat no nationwide workforce, males’s or girls’s, has ever achieved. The Americans are all however sure to advance out of the group; even when they had been to lose or draw towards the Netherlands, a rematch of the 2019 closing, they’re seemingly to ease previous newcomers Portugal and Vietnam. What awaits in the knockout spherical might be a distinct story, and the Americans might be wanting towards a gaggle of new, younger expertise — Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman, Alyssa Thompson — to assist them elevate the trophy for a fifth time.
The Dutch had been the runners-up in 2019, dropping to the Americans, 2-0. The core of the workforce that made the closing 4 years in the past — Danielle van de Donk, Jackie Groenen, Jill Roord, Lieke Martens — stays, and the Dutch have the expertise to make a deep run as soon as extra. They face the Americans of their second group match, however even a defeat in that sport is unlikely to ship the Dutch dwelling.
Vietnam, one other match newcomer, faces one of the hardest roads at the World Cup. It certified by reaching the quarterfinals of final 12 months’s Asian Cup, but when a current 9-0 loss to Spain in a pleasant match is any indication of its present kind, the workforce might be rapidly heading dwelling.
The Portuguese certified for the match by beating Cameroon in additional time in a playoff sport, incomes them a spot at their first World Cup. But the Portuguese didn’t draw a straightforward group: They will first face the Netherlands, the 2019 runner-up, earlier than assembly the defending champion United States of their final group sport.
Brazil’s squad will not be as sturdy as earlier editions, and none of these groups had been sturdy sufficient to overcome the superpowers of North America and Europe. Still, in Pia Sundhage, Brazil has a canny, adroit coach, and the likes of Debinha, Kerolin, Geyse and the six-time World Cup veteran Marta. Wins over Jamaica and Panama would virtually definitely ship the Brazilians into the knockout stage.
After a robust displaying at the 2019 World Cup through which the French superior to the quarterfinals, Les Bleus adopted it up with a semifinal look at the 2022 European Championship. But France’s current worldwide successes have taken a backseat to its off-field turmoil. (In March, France fired its coach because it tried to deal with a rising mutiny from prime gamers.) Despite the chaos, the French are nonetheless a match favourite.
Panama edged Paraguay, 1-0, to earn the closing spot in the World Cup. Panama is the eighth first-time qualifier in the subject, that means 1 / 4 of the 32-team match might be stepping onto the World Cup stage for the first time.
The Reggae Girlz are again for his or her second World Cup after a third-place end in the CONCACAF W Championship. The workforce misplaced all of its group stage video games in France in 2019, and up to date performances haven’t been significantly better: They’ve recorded solely two wins in 2023, over Morocco and a second-tier English membership.
Italy completed atop its group at the 2019 World Cup, however completed lifeless final in its group at the 2022 European Championship. The Italians are unpredictable, and this 12 months has been no totally different: They have three wins and two losses in 2023.
Sweden’s current worldwide file is spectacular: a third-place end at the 2019 World Cup, a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a semifinal look eventually summer season’s European Championship. The Swedes additionally handed the U.S. a 3-0 loss in Tokyo and have been identified to trigger the Americans issues. But to face the U.S., they’ll have to advance from a robust group. Early wins towards South Africa and Italy would virtually definitely be sufficient.
In three World Cup appearances, Argentina has but to win a sport. But that would change this 12 months as the Argentines seem in prime kind. In seven straight pleasant matches this 12 months, they haven’t misplaced as soon as.
South Africa makes its second World Cup look this 12 months, contemporary off successful its first Africa Cup of Nations title final 12 months. The workforce misplaced all three of its video games in France in 2019 and might be wanting to the star striker Thembi Kgatlana to ship higher outcomes this time round.
If anybody is worthy of the darkish horse title at this 12 months’s World Cup, it’s Colombia. The Cafeteras have solely gained two video games this 12 months, however their solely loss in 2022 was to Brazil in the Copa America Femenina championship sport. Keep a watch on Linda Caicedo and Mayra Ramirez on this match.
In eight World Cups, Germany has by no means failed to fall brief of the quarterfinals, and given a kindly group draw — Morocco, Colombia and South Korea — there’s little motive to imagine they won’t make the final eight once more. Germany has a well-balanced squad and completed as runner-up in final summer season’s European Championship, however has appeared much less sure recently, dropping current pleasant video games to Brazil and Zambia.
South Korea certified for the World Cup by reaching the closing of final 12 months’s Asian Cup, the place it fell to China, 3-2. The Koreans have but to advance from the group stage at a World Cup, however an abundance of expertise in the midfield — Lee Geum-min, Cho So-hyun and Ji So-yun — may make all the distinction this 12 months.
Morocco certified for its first World Cup with a run to the closing of final 12 months’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), together with a momentous win over 11-time AFCON champion Nigeria. The nationwide workforce has grown from digital nonexistence lately, and forwards Ghizlane Chebbak and Rosella Ayane may present sufficient spark to ship the Atlas Lionesses to the knockout stage.