The FIFA Women’s World Cup is here again; anticipation is mounting in Australia and New Zealand. The 2019 edition experienced quality football, with the unbeatable United States women winning the coveted silverware. The Netherlands women tried to put up a spirited fight that was not fruitful in the 2019 finals. However, this edition looks crunchy since most national teams have realized the recipe for beating the USA team. This is one of the promising tournaments to look forward to.
The Kick-off Date and Host Nations
On the 20th of this month, the tournament will kick off, with thirty-two teams having been confirmed as contenders in the competition. Australia and New Zealand jointly won the bid to host it this year, with both nations’ teams participating. Only seventeen days remain before all systems shift to the competition first played in China in 1991. The first match will be an irresistible affair between New Zealand and Norway before the rest of the matches take place.
The Crunchy Fixtures and Groups
In this tournament, most of the groups seem balanced. It is a common occurrence in competitions to find varied group organizations, with potential ‘group(s) of death’ in the mix. In group A, Norway and New Zealand are the favorites to advance to the next stage. Philippines and Switzerland, women are the underdogs unless one produces a shocker to proceed. In group B, Australia and Canada are the clear favorites to advance to the round of 16. However, impressive African giants Nigeria and Ireland women will also be eyeing the coveted spot in the next round.
Spain and Japan are standing tall in group C. The two teams have participated in most editions and occasionally displayed world-class football performances. Zambia and Costa Rica women will aim to fight for their reputation when they take on this group later this month. Group D will see Women Euro 2022 winners England tackling Denmark, China, and Haiti.
The Three Lions Women are on fire, having appointed a new manager, Sarina Wiegman. With Haiti as the clear underdogs, Denmark and China might fight for the other qualification spot.
- Giovanni Trapattoni: The forgotten Italian football maestro
- UEFA Champions League vs Premier League? One pick.
- Valeriy Lobanovskyi: The unsung football genius
- Sean Dyche: The sweet and sour chronicles of sit back and defend coaches.
Group E is perhaps the closest to being considered the group of death. This group will host 2019 finalists, USA women and the Netherlands women. Therefore, one of the matches will be a repeat of the last finals and an exciting duel. Portugal women will also fight to get a next-round slot in the tournament, while Vietnam will be aiming to cause a scare to the veterans.
South Americans will be well represented in group F by Brazil Women, who will take on Jamaica, Panama, and France. Brazil and France are the favorites to advance from this group. Group G will also interestingly have three good teams, Sweden, Argentina, and Italy women. Sweden was eliminated in the semis in the last edition and will fight to make a mark this time. South Africa is also part of this group and will seek inspiration from talented Kgantlana to advance. The final group is H, with women from Germany, Morocco, Colombia, and South Korea. This group is full of quality and will offer some of the most exciting matches in this tournament.
The finals will be held at Sydney in the Wangal Stadium on the 20th of August.
Players to watch
37-year-old Meghan Rapinoe will be aiming to impress once again at the tournament. In 2019, she was the golden boot winner with six goals and will want to win another accolade before she calls it a day. Chelsea women’s Sam Kerr will be leading the attack for hosts Australia. The Women’s Super League golden boot winner will try to inspire her team to glory as the host nation. This is their perfect chance to go at this invaluable trophy and make history for their country.
Two-time Balon d’Or winner, Alexia Putellas, is psyched up for this tournament. She has come back strong after missing out almost the whole of last season with an ACL injury. The talented Spaniard will be eyeing the World Cup to add to her already loaded and impressive trophy cabinet. Arsenal women’s Vivian Miedema will fight tooth and nail to inspire the Netherlands to a maiden title. They lost 2-0 to the USA during the last outing, and the talented striker will not be ready to face yet another defeat.
The ticket prices vary depending on several circumstances, like age. Children’s tickets are cheaper and range from 60 dollars to as cheap as 10 dollars for some matches. The most expensive adult ticket is 120 dollars, with the cheapest being 20 dollars. Therefore, it is a relatively inexpensive tournament that many fans can afford.