The group stage games have been a thrilling showcase of the diverse powers in women’s global soccer. For some major names, this is possibly their final act on the world’s stage. For some countries, this could be a major breakthrough to make the medal podium. The USWNT vs Netherlands highlights the four quarterfinal matches, slated to kick off Friday morning, 7:00a ET.
One thing this tournament has not been: another event dominated by the Americans. The defending World Cup champs overcame a stunning loss to Sweden and made the quarterfinals. They are still the favorites to win gold but not favored over the field any longer.
Those who fail to advance from the quarterfinals will be eliminated from medal contention.
Here’s a rundown of the matches Friday, with the prices for regulation results (90 minutes plus stoppage time) and totals. If you bet on a team to win in 3-way odds, and the match goes to extra time or penalty kicks, you lose your bet.
USWNT vs. Netherlands
This was the final of the 2019 World Cup. Not sure which is harder to understand:
- Netherlands scored the most goals in group play (21) and allowed the most (8) of the remaining eight teams.
- Team USA scored in just one game but managed to finish second in its group.
If the Olympics featured a Golden Boot award, Dutch forward Vivianne Medina would have sealed it already. Eight goals and one assist is more than anyone accumulated in the men’s Euro 2020 competition.
The Dutch allowing three goals to Zambia, three to Brazil and two more to China raise some questions. However, the US’s inconsistent form and inability to string much together with a talented roster raises more. Six goals against New Zealand (with four called off for offsides) was all the offense could muster.
This is the last of the quarterfinals on the schedule. It has some intriguing storylines – and some value on the board. Would it be unpatriotic to fade the favored Americans on Friday?
Canada vs Brazil
Both teams finished second in their groups to advance. Canada drew with Great Britain to finish ahead of Japan in Group E, while Brazil’s 1-0 win over Zambia was not enough to beat the Netherlands in Group F.
Both teams have dynamic offenses with established superstars (Christine Sinclair for Canada, Marta for Brazil) who might be in their final major tournaments. Janine Beckie scored half of the team’s four goals, while Marta led Brazil’s offense with three of the team’s nine goals (all scored by single name players, of course).
This match-up may come down to if the Canadian defense, which allowed just two goals in three games, can withstand the electric offense of Brazil. The bookmakers give Brazil close to a coin-flip chance to win in the 90.
Great Britain vs. Australia
This 12-team tournament had what appeared to be two “Groups of Death”. Great Britain won the first over Canada and host Japan. Australia got a win against New Zealand and a draw with the USA to advance as a third-place team in Group G.
Great Britain won two of their three games, allowing just one goal to Canada in the process. Ellen White carried the UK with three of the team’s four goals. Sam Kerr factored into all of Australia’s four tallies with three goals and an assist.
The Matildas showed some tenacity in their scoreless draw against the US. Can they carry that momentum to upset the Brits?
Over 2.5 Total Goals
Under 2.5 Total Goals
Sweden vs. Japan
Sweden won all three of their group games – the only team to do so. Their reward – the home nation and 2011 World Cup champs. This might be Sweden’s best chance to win their first major tournament after upsetting the USWNT and setting the tone for the tournament. Japan defeated Chile in the finale Tuesday to get one of the two third-place slots.
Sweden has rolled deep this tournament, with Stina Blackstenius scoring three of the team’s nine goals. Sofia Jakobsson leads the team with three assists, as Sweden only had one goal without an assist. Japan scored twice and conceded twice in group play, an improvement from their 0-3 mark in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year.
Japan has played well at home and can surprise in these big events. Books are favoring the Swedes and their balanced attack to advance.
Knockout Rounds Schedule
Friday, July 30
Match 22: Canada v Brazil (Miyagi) — 4am ET
Match 19: Great Britain v Australia (Kashima) — 5am ET
Match 21: Sweden v Japan (Saitama) — 6am ET
Match 20: Netherlands v USWNT (Yokohama) — 7am ET
Winner of Match 20 v Winner of Match 22 (Kashima) — 4am ET
Winner of Match 19 v Winner of Match 21 (Yokohama) — 7am ET
Bronze medal match (Kashima) — 4am ET
Gold medal match (Tokyo) — 10pm ET