Inclusive stops here: France 19 knockout rounds
Background photo: Lion Dartois, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Women’s World Cup is through fooling around. The group stages are complete; the knockout rounds begin today.
So far, the tournament’s only controversy has been the one with which everyone is still trying to come to grips. VAR marred France’s final game against Nigeria. Les Bleus defender Wendi Renard, whose own goal from the opening match against Norway remains the only black mark on the squad’s ledger, banged a spot-kick off the post. Upon review, it was decided that Super Falcons’ goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie came off her line too early. Renard retook the penalty successfully and France progressed with a dubiously perfect record. Happily for the teenage No.1, Nigeria advanced as well.
While the women feature champions from three continents, Africa and South America have yet to make their mark. They’ll have an opportunity in this competition. Only Oceania failed to send a team beyond the group stage although Australia is among the final 16.
Here’s a quick look at each Round of 16 matchup, how the contestants arrived and how much further they can be expected to go.