FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) quarter-finals are officially set
FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
🏆 Don’t call them on their bluff
The GIST: Hope you’re well-rested because the FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) quarter-finals are officially set and every game is appointment viewing.
- Here’s what you need to know about the two matches between now and Friday’s newsletter, as well as the latest in now-eliminated No. 40 Nigeria’s renewed fight for wages.
No. 6 Spain vs. No. 9 Netherlands — Tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET: The Netherlands may be undefeated, but Spain is the favorite in this one. La Roja are playing cohesive fútbol, even as they cycle through constant lineup changes. What the Spanairds lack, however, is experience. They’re playing in their first WWC quarter-final, while the Dutch were the 2019 runners-up.
- However, the Netherlands will be without their favorite swimmer, er, midfielder, Danielle Van de Donk, as she serves a one-game yellow card suspension. Her absence creates a hole in the team’s tenacious midfield — their key to success thus far.
No. 3 Sweden vs. No. 11 Japan — Friday at 3:30 a.m. ET: FIFA rankings be damned — Japan is the team to watch. Midfielder Hinata Miyazawa leads the Golden Boot race with five goals, spearheading an offense that’s lethal in the counter-attack, as seen during their 4–0 group stage thrashing of Spain. Don’t sleep on the Nadeshiko.
- But playing underdog is nothing new for the Swedes, who notably knocked out the two-time defending champion No. 1 USWNT. Japan is the most clinical opponent the Blue and Yellow have faced, but if goalie Zećira Mušović brings her A-Game again, miracles could happen.
Off the field: After being eliminated by No. 4 England on Monday, Nigeria enlisted FIFPRO, the global football players union, to assist in their ongoing fight to receive wages from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), with some outstanding payments dating back to 2021.
- Every player on Nigeria’s WWC squad is entitled to a $60K payday for making it to the Round of 16, but those checks are issued by each country’s individual federation, not by FIFA itself.