The stakes couldn't be higher at the FIFA Women's World Cup
The GIST: First things first, Group B, aka the Group of Death, is being decided as you read this, so turn on the simultaneous No. 7 CanWNT vs. No 10 Australia and No. 40 Nigeria vs. No. 22 Ireland games right now, before scrolling through the recap of a weekend filled with stunning goals, thrilling clinchers, and one enormous upset. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Who clinched: Once the whistles blow on today’s final Group B games, seven of the tourney’s 16 available knockout tickets will be punched, with No. 3 Sweden, No. 6 Spain, No. 11 Japan, No. 12 Norway, No. 20 Switzerland, and Group B’s top two teams advancing.
- Japan fought hard for the top spot in Group C, nabbing the honors with this morning's 4–0 win over Spain; however, both teams had already qualified for the Round of 16 before kickoff. Must be nice.
- Meanwhile, Norway achieved a much-needed comeback yesterday, shattering the No. 46 Philippines’ glass slippers with a 6–0 show of dominance. The lopsided dub catapulted the Grasshoppers from last place in Group A to a knockout berth.
Who completed the upset: Colombian defender Manuela Vanegas, that’s who. Yesterday, Vanegas netted this brilliant stoppage time header, lifting No. 25 Colombia to a shocking 2–1 victory over No. 2 Germany — the Germans’ first group stage loss since 1995.
- Now Las Cafeteras sit atop Group H and will win the group if they can defeat No. 72 Morocco on Thursday (among other scenarios). Didn’t have that on our bingo card.
Looking ahead: By midday tomorrow, we’ll know the squads moving on from Group D and Group E (which includes the No. 1 USWNT). The all-important American showdown vs. No. 21 Portugal, kicks off tomorrow at 3 a.m. ET. Sleep? Don’t know her.