For the 8th time since the founding of the most prestigious football competition for women, teams from all over the world have come together to face off. There were speculations, analyses, and national support. Furthermore, many people were willing to put their convictions in the form of a bet, whether it was in a betting parlor, or using the Unibet bonus code. So, let us take a step back and see what happened in the Women’s World Cup 2019.
The Qualified Teams
The qualifying matches started back in 2017 and ended just before 2018 was over. Over 140 countries threw their hat into the ring, and only 24 teams ended up in the competition. Most of the qualified teams came, naturally, from UEFA – 9. The confederation with the least teams competing was OFC with a single team. This was the first time South Africa, Jamaica, Chile, and Scotland competed in the World Cup. The competition was hosted by France.
The Group Stage
France was at the top of Group A, followed by Norway and Nigeria. South Korea had to retire, due to the fact that it won no games and had zero points. In Group B, South Africa shared Korea’s fate, whereas Germany came ahead of Spain and China. Italy was at the head of Group C, though the three qualifying teams had the same number of points – 6. England and the Netherlands dominated Group D and Group E, respectively. The US has, no surprise there, reached the top of Group F with ease and no lost games. The reason this is not a surprise is that women in America have always been world-class players.
The Knockout Stage
Norway was kicked out of the quarter-finals by England, after having beaten Australia with a penalty shootout. France should have felt honoured to have beaten Brazil but had the misfortune of taking on the United States in the quarter-finals. Italy lost to the Netherlands and Germany to Sweden, meaning that England, the US, the Netherlands, and Sweden competed in the semi-finals.
Sweden and England put up an impressive fight against their respective opponents, but, ultimately, did not make it to the finals. There was a small consolation prize for Sweden – they were awarded third place after defeating England.
The Netherlands refreshed the history of the competition, as this was the first time in several years that a European team made it to the finals. That being said, the stars of the show were the players of the United States, completely justifying being number one in the FIFA ranking. The Americans played aggressively, earning themselves a yellow card in the process, but the Netherlands put up a strong defense for the first half.
The first goal was scored by Megan Rapinoe, the captain of the American team, in the 61st minute after a penalty was awarded to the US team due to aggressive defense by the Netherlands. The second goal was scored by Rose Lavelle, making the final score 2-0 for the US, turning the United States into champions for the first time in Europe and for the fourth time overall.