Nine of the 16 knockout stage spots have already been claimed at the Women’s World Cup, while the last seven remain up for grabs as teams head into their final matches this week.
From Monday through Thursday, each group will be playing its final round of games, with all four teams in each pool playing simultaneously in order to keep all matches as meaningful as possible and prevent some squads from having an information edge over their rivals.
Teams Jockey to Make World Cup Cut
With 24 teams spread out over six pools, every first and second placed side will make the round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup this year. They’ll be joined by the top four third-placed teams, ranked by points, then goal differential and other tiebreakers.
That means there’s something of a cut line in the tournament, and the target number is starting to come into focus as the event heads into the final round of group stage matches. We already know that four points is enough to guarantee being one of the top four third-place teams, and it seems highly likely that at least some teams that finish with three points will also make it through.
So far, there haven’t been many major surprises when it comes to who has clinched advancement. The United States, France, Germany, and England – the consensus top four nations in the competition – are all through after winning their first two matches. Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, and Italy have also been perfect so far, with only Italy’s 2-1 win over Australia being seen as an upset. Also through is Japan, which has four points after beating Scotland and drawing Argentina.
Women’s World Cup Winner Odds (Via FanDuel)
- USA (+185)
- France (+340)
- England (+650)
- Germany (+750)
- Netherlands (+1100)
- Australia (+1600)
- Canada (+2200)
- Japan (+2200)
That leaves 15 teams battling for seven remaining tickets to the knockout stage. And while everyone is technically alive, not everyone has the same odds of advancement. Here’s a look at where the remaining teams stand.
The Australians already have three points, and FanDuel Sportsbook lists them as -6000 favorites to beat Jamaica in their final match, a result that would clinch advancement for Sam Kerr and company.
Also on three points, Norway has a slightly tougher test against South Korea on Monday, but needs only a draw to clinch advancement – and with a +2 goal differential, might even skate by with a loss, depending on how other matches play out.
On the Bubble
Both on three points, Spain and China face off against each other knowing that a draw would see both through. A small margin would keep a loser in this match alive as well, though they would be nervous. Spain is seen as a -115 favorite to get the win here.
While they’re on three points, Brazil (+130) is still a slight favorite over Italy (+210) in its final match, and knows that even a draw will get it through for sure.
Argentina has a point, while Scotland has none, making their final game against each other critical. A win for Argentina (+490) would clinch them a spot in the knockout stage, while a Scotland victory (-180) could likely be enough to see it through. But a draw (+300) could well mean both teams miss out on the round of 16, barring a lot of help from other matches.
The good news is that Nigeria already has three points. The bad news is that they face powerhouse France in their final match. France (-800) is heavily favored in that game, meaning that Nigeria either need a huge upset or need to hope that three points and a poor goal differential would be enough to get them through.
While both of these teams have zero points so far, their goal differentials aren’t awful. So when they play on Thursday, both will be hoping for a multiple goal win to boost their odds of advancement. New Zealand (+140) is a slight favorite over Cameroon (+185), with both sides needing a win to have any real chance to advance.
Yes, Chile is 0-2. Yes, they have a -5 goal differential. But they are a -410 favorite over Thailand in their final match, and if they can run up the score, they could still sneak into the knockout stage.
Looking for a Miracle
South Korea, South Africa, Jamaica, Thailand
All of these teams have no points, very bad goal differentials, and are underdogs in their final matches. That makes it hard to see them advancing. Of the group, South Korea has the best chance, but would need a big win over Norway to make it happen.