The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament was full of unexpected fodder and devious results. There’s the entertainment value and attacking potential of Zambia – the lowest ranked team on the pitch – and their superstar Barbara Banda. The Zambian group, in which all four teams played in two matches, scored 32 goals, while Banda and national champion Vivian Midema each scored six goals.
And although the tournament has generally featured results such as 10-3, 4-4, 3-3, 5-0, 4-2 and 6-1, the most shocking result remains the 3-0 result as Sweden won against the United States. fall. States The National Women’s Team will play collectively. The United States has recovered from comfortably beating New Zealand, but that loss is impacting that number to stay in the round of 16. The United States will face Australia and star striker Sam Kerr on Tuesday to end the tag team game, knowing they have a series of outcome-based scenarios. The most likely scenario is that the United States does not finish first in their Olympic group for the first time since their first Olympic women’s football tournament in 1996. History has been hugely influential on the American side against Matilda, still hitting 26. -1 n ° 3 in their meetings. But recent history suggests Australia will not make things easier and will continue to put pressure on a defensive unit that is not the cleaner of the two. played matches. There’s the weather issue too, with stormy weather around Kashima threatening to throw a crooked ball into the proceedings.
Either way, there is still a lot to be decided about whether to participate in the final day of competition-wide multiplayer – the last two games in each group will be played simultaneously, starting with US Group G at 4 p.m. ET. – but here’s how things go for Andonovsky’s Flatko team win, lose or draw:
US wins or retreats
The most likely scenario is for the United States to take second place in their group (a win or draw would strengthen second place) and an upward road to gold. It always went to losing status in Sweden’s opener against the United States – if there ever was one – given how the rest of the squad stacked up. If that pays off (and Sweden would lose to New Zealand and the United States outweighed Australia, where they would also be three goals behind the United States to finish first), then you would end up either with the Netherlands or with Brazil in the quarter-finals, which wins their group.
Playing the Netherlands will be a rematch in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, for which they were a diehard, while Brazil, coached by former US coach Pia Sundhag, sparked panic in the United States when they last met in the Shepeleyes Cup, lacked the final product they needed. Depends on the dashboard. Both teams have four points after two matches and face opponents who should be easily beaten (the Netherlands, China, Brazil and Zambia being the two matches), meaning they will likely be reduced to the difference. of goals. The Dutch already have a +2 lead, so both will come out on Tuesday to increase the score.
Great Britain, Canada or Japan and number two Netherlands / Brazil will meet in the other quarterfinals on this side of the arc, with Sweden being the favorite on the other side if all goes as foreseen. The United States had a knockout challenge to win the World Cup title two years ago and, due to their own failures, are on the same path.
The loss of the United States
A loss would send the United States to a staggering third place in the group, which, psychological and moral effects aside, wouldn’t really be the worst thing in the world competitively – at least not in the quarterfinals. final. (There is a scenario where the US does not advance to the knockout stage, but it does) Extreme Unlikely and would require a loss, Japan beat Chile and China or Zambia did the unthinkable to end the game by four points.)
A third place would actually result in a more favored opponent in the quarterfinals (Canada or Team Great Britain would be the enemy), but if you know anything about the USWNT it’s that the delay knockout or the kick is for everything but winning no consideration. And while the immediate payout for the quarter-finals would be a slightly less difficult opponent, a rematch against Sweden looms in the semi-finals. The United States will no longer have a problem with the Swedes and have a chance at redemption – both for last week and for 2016 – but the advantage is sure to come in the medal game. ‘gold.
The safety net offered by the Olympic format – and the prospect that the United States has already done enough to advance to the knockout stage regardless of Tuesday’s outcome – relieves some pressure from the group final, but for a team which wishes to refine and refine the blunder while regaining confidence with the approach of the most important matches, the stakes are still high.
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