Friday, June 19, 2015

The World Cup Round of 16

Some very exciting Group stages at the Women's World Cup have ended. On the 20th June the knockout matches will start, with eight very exciting fixtures:
  • China-Cameroun: The only African side left against a Chinese side that will be looking to get far after doing well in the first round.
  • Germany-Sweden: Two of the best sides in Europe and the world. Germany, European champions, are favourites to win the title, while Sweden were considered title outsiders, but struggled to get past the first group behind USA and Australia. Germany scored 15 goals in the first round, and has the top scorer, Anja Mittag.
  • Brazil-Australia: The South Americans took three victories in the first round, and are surely favourites against an Australian side that should not be underestimated, ending second in "the group of death"
  • France-South Corea: France went on to win a difficult group after defeating England and Mexico, and will be facing South Corea, who struggled to get second spot behind Brazil in their opening group.
  • Canada-Switzerland: the Canadian hosts will be huge favourites against a Swiss side that is in the last-16 despite losing twice in the first round.
  • Norway-England: Norway, second ranked in Europe, will be facing an English side that is looking to get success in a World Cup for the first time.
  • USA-Colombia: the defending Olympic champions and favourites will be facing a Colombian side that surprised everybody in the first round, but who are unlikely to keep surprising.
  • Japan-Netherlands: The defending World Champions took three victories in the first round, and are looking to defend their title against a talented Dutch side.
Matches have been good, although some teams are still far below in quality (Ecuador, Ivory Coast). But this is much more refreshing football than the commercialism and bad spirit of the men's World Cup. Matches are examples of fair play and good spirit, something that does not exist in the men's side any more (there are virtually no gentlemen left in modern men's game).

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