The FIFA Women’s World Cup Group Stage has ended and we now have a couple days to recap and look forward to the Knockout Stage. We have seen a very exciting and wide open World Cup so far and we shouldn’t expect to see anything different now that it’s single elimination.
1) Biggest Winner — Cameroon
Cameroon is ranked 53rd in the Women’s FIFA Rankings. They are ranked below such teams as Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and Vietnam, who didn’t even make the tournament. This is also Cameroon’s first World Cup and they shocked the world. After beating up on Ecuador 6-0 in their first game and losing 2-1 to defending champions Japan, Cameroon faced 19th ranked Switzerland with a chance at finishing 2nd and making the Knockout Stage.
After going down 1-0 to Switzerland, Cameroon still had a chance to advance due to getting one of the third place spots but Cameroon wanted to spare the few days of stress and uncertainty of entering the Round of 16. When Gabrielle Onguene equalized in the 47th minute and Madeleine Ngono Mani took the lead in the 62nd minute to clinch 2nd place in the group. Simply a stunning upset for Cameroon.
2) Biggest Loser — Sweden
This is pretty unfair because Sweden had a legitimate reason for finishing 3rd in their group. The 5th place ranked team had to face fellow top 10 teams USA and Australia and one of them had to finish 3rd. Sweden drew the short straw and drew all three games. It also didn’t help matters that Sweden drew Nigeria 3-3 so Sweden definitely had the chance to at least finish 2nd.
Now it gets even worse for Sweden. Sweden has to face Germany in the Round of 16 and then potentially face France in the Quarterfinals and United States in the Semifinals. That’s a “Bracket of Death” on top of barely getting out of the “Group of Death.”
3) Standout Performer — Fabienne Humm – Switzerland
There have been a lot of standout performances in the Women’s World Cup and many deserve this spot but when you break the overall record for the fastest hat trick scored in a Men’s or Women’s World Cup, that puts you to the top.
In between the 47th and 52nd minutes of the Switzerland/Ecuador game, Humm scored three goals within five minutes and earned the record.
4) Knockout Stage Matchups
China vs. Cameroon – Saturday June 20 at 7:30 PM ET
United States vs. Colombia – Monday June 22 at 8 PM ET
Germany vs. Sweden – Saturday June 20 at 4 PM ET
France vs. South Korea – Sunday June 21 at 4 PM ET
Brazil vs. Australia – Sunday June 21 at 1 PM ET
Japan vs. Netherlands – Tuesday June 23 at 10 PM ET
Norway vs. England – Monday June 22 at 5 PM ET
Canada vs. Switzerland – Sunday June 21 at 7:30 PM ET
5) Tweet/Social Media of the Group Stage —
USA fans bust out the national anthem & the ever classy @RobStoneONFOX stops broadcast to let them finish. That was awesome.
— 32 Flags (@32flags) June 16, 2015
Little bit of self promotion but that was pretty cool.
6) Goal of the Group Stage — Veronica Perez – Mexico
While it wasn’t an Olimpico, it was still a long range goal off a short corner and in one of the tightest angles you can possibly attempt to score on. Brilliant goal.