Women’s World Cup 2023: Latest Group Results and Predictions for Friday
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Nigeria produced one of the most stunning results so far at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with its win over co-host Australia on Thursday morning.
Nigeria scored three unanswered goals to pick up three points and land on top of Group B going into the final set of group-stage matches.
Australia and Canada were expected to move on from the group stage to the round of 16, but one of the two likely will not make it now after Nigeria’s terrific group stage. Nigeria drew Canada in its Group B opener.
Three sides also have a chance to advance out of Group E entering the final set of matches. Portugal’s win over Vietnam and the draw between the United States and Netherlands set up a dramatic final 90 minutes on Tuesday.
Entering Friday, only Japan and Spain secured qualification into the round of 16, and just three sides have been eliminated from moving on.
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AP Photo/Aisha Schulz
1. Nigeria – 4 points (+1 goal differential)
2. Canada – 4 (+1)
3. Australia – 3 (0)
4. Republic of Ireland – 0 (-2)
Nigeria 3, Australia 2
Nigeria produced an incredible response to Australia’s opening goal.
The African side received a goal from Uchenna Kanu deep into first-half stoppage time just five minutes after Emily van Egmond netted the opener for the Matildas.
Osinachi Ohale and Asisat Oshoala scored seven minutes apart in the second half to break the game open for Nigeria.
Australia cut the deficit to one 10 minutes into second-half stoppage time through Alanna Kennedy. That goal did not matter to Thursday’s final score, and it will most likely not play a factor in determining whether the co-host advances to the round of 16.
Australia must beat Canada on Monday to move on. A draw does Australia no good if Nigeria picks up a point against the Republic of Ireland.
Nigeria needs a win or draw to move into the knockout phase. It must better Canada’s result against Australia to get through as the group winner.
Canada, who beat Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, can take first in Group B with a win and more goals scored than Nigeria. The Canucks can take second with a draw and a Nigeria victory.
Republic of Ireland has been the weakest side in Group B through two matches. The World Cup debutant could try to shock Nigeria with a win, but that seems unlikely given the play of both squads.
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1. United States – 4 (+3)
2. Netherlands – 4 (+1)
3. Portugal – 3 (+1)
4. Vietnam – 0 (-5)
Portugal 2, Vietnam 0
The USWNT has a lot of work left to do to win Group E.
Wednesday night’s draw with the Netherlands kept the Americans in first place, but that order could change on Tuesday since the Dutch finish the group stage against Vietnam.
Vietnam is the worst of the four squads in Group E, and the USWNT has to face a Portugal side that gained confidence from its 2-0 win over the debutant Asian side on Thursday.
The USWNT needs to beat Portugal and hold on to its goal differential lead over the Netherlands to win the group.
The Dutch have to like their chances right now because they can outscore the USWNT on Tuesday against a weaker opponent.
Portugal needs to defeat the Americans to get into the knockout round. A USWNT-Portugal draw would put the Americans and Dutch through to the round of 16.
All of the Group E teams will have close eyes on Saturday’s Group G clash between Sweden and Italy. The Group E winner faces the Group G runner-up and vice versa in the round of 16. Sweden and Italy both won their opening matches.
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Group G: Argentina vs. South Africa (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, FS1)
Group D: England vs. Denmark (Friday, 4:30 a.m. ET, FS1)
Group D: China vs. Haiti (Friday, 7 a.m. ET, FS1)
The Group D clash between England and Denmark is the most important match over the next 24 hours.
The pair of European sides eked out 1-0 wins in their openers and will play for first place in Group D.
England, who reached the semifinal in its last three major competitions, is expected to beat Denmark and sit comfortably atop Group D.
China and Haiti have their best chances to pick up three points in Friday’s second match. China carries more experience on the World Cup stage and played Denmark tighter than Haiti did England. China was in the match, while Haiti absorbed a ton of England’s pressure.
Argentina and South Africa sit in the same position as China and Haiti over in Group G. Their opening defeats to Sweden and Italy put them in a tough spot.
South Africa was more competitive against Sweden, as it was the only team to score a goal in a loss in the first group-stage matches.
England 2, Denmark 0
China 1, Haiti 0
South Africa 2, Argentina 1