On Sunday, the fourth day of the Women’s World Cup, the teams to watch are the Netherlands, Sweden and France. Sweden, ranked No. 3 in the world, reached the semi-finals of last year’s European Championships and are regular contenders for major tournaments. The Netherlands were runners-up at the 2019 World Cup, and many of the key players from that tournament are still on the roster. France have a new manager, but he’s a familiar face at the end of international competition.
Sweden vs South Africa
Never leave Sweden out.
The Swede reached the semi-finals of last year’s European Championship but lost to eventual champions England. A year earlier, he had won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. It was after reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in France and the quarter-finals of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where Sweden overwhelmed the United States to reach the final.
The short story is that Sweden is coming.
Desiree Ellis coached South Africa’s comeback team from obscurity to the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations title and first continental championship win. She also coached the team to her first World Cup qualification in 2019. However, South Africa have failed to win a single game, failed to advance through the group stage and face a difficult task today against Sweden.
Netherlands vs. Portugal
The Netherlands have been a powerhouse in international football in recent years. They won the European Championship in 2017, reached the World Cup final in 2019, and took the United States to a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Their first opponents at this World Cup were Portugal, who needed 13 qualifying games to qualify for the 32-team quota. Most of the participating teams. Portugal are one of eight teams making their debut at the Women’s World Cup.
This experience gap favors the Netherlands, but of course the Group E standings (against the USA) in this matchup puts more pressure on them to get an early victory over both sides if they want to advance to the knockout stages.
The Dutch lost to the USA in the World Cup final four years ago. They face the United States again on Thursday (Wednesday evening ET) in Wellington, New Zealand. The match is one of the group stage’s most anticipated matchups, and the winner will have a much easier road in the knockout stages. But first of all, it’s Portugal.
France vs Jamaica
After years of success on the international stage, France is in turmoil behind the scenes. In March, the French federation sacked longtime coach Corinne Diacre after players complained. Unhealthy environment within the team.
Hervé Renard is a seasoned coach who has never led a women’s team but has worked hard to keep the ship stable. But she has a long World Cup career, even if her career as a women’s coach is short. Most recently, she coached Saudi Arabia at the men’s World Cup in December, in which they scored high-profile victories against Lionel Messi and Argentina.
France lost to Germany in a disappointing semi-final at the 2022 European Championships, missing out on qualification for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Given the experience so far, a win in Australia’s opening match should stabilize the team and pave the way for further progress.
Jamaica, who will be participating in the World Cup for the second time, is standing in the way.Jamaica had to use crowdfunding website To raise funds for the team’s trip to Australia and New Zealand. Jamaica lost all three games in the 2019 group stage.
France arrived in Australia in good form as World Cup favorites.Torn by a bitter feud, in recent months lost player, welcomed their returnafter that lost them again. Changed coaches, changed approach, changed tactics. And this time, she asked the respected 54-year-old Hervé Renard, who has a stellar career in the men’s World Cup but has no experience coaching women, to at least make it to the semi-finals.
He said he started the process by opening up about what he didn’t know.
“Everything was new to me because I didn’t know anything about women’s football or how to manage female players,” he said. “I was lucky because there were a lot of people on our staff who were already involved in women’s football, so I listened.”