The United States started its bid for an unprecedented three-peat at the Women's World Cup with a 3-0 win over Vietnam and followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 final. Winning a third straight title won't be easy for the No. 1 team in the world.
Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the quadrennial tournament for international soccer's most coveted trophy kicked off July 20 and features an expanded field of 32 teams, up from 24. There are 64 matches during the tournament.
That means more competition for the two-time defending World Cup champion U.S., which won the 2015 event in Canada and the 2019 tournament in France. The Americans have won four titles overall, the most of any nation.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Japan scored three times from lightning breaks in the first half, once in the second and defended resolutely to trounce Spain 4-0 and top Group C.
Lushomo Mweemba scored the fastest goal of the tournament and Barbra Banda fired in the 1,000th goal in Women's World Cup history as Zambia beat Costa Rica 3-1 for its first victory at the global event.
Haley Raso scored her first career Women’s World Cup goals at just the right time, with a first-half brace in Australia’s 4-0 win over Canada. The Matildas clinched top spot in Group B and a place in the round of 16, knocking the Olympic champion out of the tournament.
Pre-tournament underdog Nigeria advanced to the round of 16 after a 0-0 draw against Ireland, finishing second to co-host Australia in Group B.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
On Tuesday, the defending champion U.S. team is aiming for a big win over Portugal in Auckland to finish atop Group E and secure a favorable path in the knockout round. Netherlands, coming off a 1-1 draw with the Americans in a rematch of the 2019 final, is playing Vietnam in Dunedin. Both matches kick off at 7 p.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) in New Zealand. Two Group D games kick off simultaneously but in different time zones in Australia. England already has two wins and takes on China at 8:30 p.m. local time in Adelaide, and Denmark is against Haiti at 7 p.m. local time in Perth. Both of those kick off times convert to 7 a.m. ET.
On Wednesday, Group G leader Sweden is aiming for a third straight win when it takes on Argentina at Hamilton and South Africa and Italy are vying for a spot in the next stage when they meet at Wellington at 7 p.m. local time in New Zealand (3 a.m. ET). In Group F, leading France and winless Panama play at Sydney and Brazil is against Jamaica in Melbourne at 8 p.m. local time on Australia's east coast (6 a.m. ET).
HOW TO WATCH THE FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Fox holds the English-language media rights in the United States for the Women's World Cup. Telemundo holds the Spanish-language rights.
Fox will broadcast a record 29 matches over the air on its main network and the rest of the games will be aired on FS1. All matches will be streamed on the Fox app.
FIFA struck a collective deal with the European Broadcasting Union in mid-June, ending a standoff with a broadcasters in five major European television markets. The deal guarantees the games will air in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.
Linda Caicedo is fast-becoming the biggest story of the biggest Women's World Cup to date. Her stunning goal to set up Colombia’s shock 2-1 win over Germany was the latest magical moment from the 18-year-old Real Madrid forward. But her performances on the field have been dimmed for some by concerns about her health.
Barbra Banda of Zambia scored the 1,000th goal in Women's World Cup history with her penalty kick in the 31st minute against Costa Rica.
T he Women’s World Cup is taking shape with shocks and highlights as it nears the end of the group stage. Some players have established themselves as ones to watch, like Colombia star Linda Caicedo. Surprising results including Colombia’s win over Germany and Nigeria’s upset of co-host Australia have showed the gap has closed at top level women’s soccer.
Welcome to Dunedin, which at a latitude of 45.88 degrees South is the southernmost city to ever host a match in a soccer World Cup, men’s or women’s.
The United States is a +270 favorite to win the World Cup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. After the opening 12 days of the tournament, Spain is next at +340, followed by England at +500, Germany at +700. The two big movers on Monday were Australia (+1100) and Japan (+1,300).
The Associated Press