The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw took place on Saturday and the group stage games are set. Here are just a few of the games we’re most looking forward to.
Results of the draw can also be found here.
Sweden vs. United States
Stade Océane; Le Harve
It wouldn’t be a group stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup without a game between the United States and Sweden. This summer’s tournament will be the fifth consecutive group stage meeting between the two sides, and sixth overall group stage game (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019). They have never met in the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup.
They have, however, met in the knockout stage of the Olympics — Sweden beat the United States in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal of last year’s Olympics, to send the U.S. to their earliest exit ever in a major tournament. That game will be fresh on everyone’s minds when Sweden and the United States meet again on June 20 in the final group stage game for Group F.
Australia vs. Brazil
Stade de la Mosson; Montpellier
There’s always drama in the air when Australia and Brazil meet. Australia sent Brazil home in the Round of 16 in 2015 on a late stunner from Houston Dash forward Kyah Simon, and then Brazil returned the favor at the 2016 Olympics with a quarterfinal win in penalty kicks. They also met in the 2011 WWC group stage and the 2007 WWC quarterfinal, both games won by Brazil. They’ll meet in the second group stage game of Group C on June 13. There’s also the matter of Orlando Pride and Brazil forward Marta needing just two goals to set the all-time World Cup record, for women’s or men’s tournaments.
Japan vs. England
Stade de Nice; Nice
England will face Japan in Group D, a rematch of the dramatic 2015 Women’s World Cup final, which saw England suffer a heartbreaking loss on a 92nd minute own goal. Japan captured the 2-1 win to advance to their second-straight Women’s World Cup Final. The two teams also met in the group stage of the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cups.
England vs. Scotland
Stade de Nice; Nice
Former Seattle Reign FC midfielder and 2014 NWSL MVP Kim Little and Scotland will make their Women’s World Cup debuts with a big game vs. their neighbor and rival England in the first game of Group D. England comes into the tournament with high expectations after finishing third in 2015. Group D has an average world ranking of 17, the highest of all the groups.
Hello Group D ? https://t.co/WYzhcRZ3IL
— Jodie Taylor (@Jodes_14) December 8, 2018
Netherlands vs. Canada
Stade Auguste-Delaune; Reims
Canada vs. Netherlands will be a big test for Canada, currently ranked No. 5 in the world. Canada took the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, and is hoping to carry that momentum into a strong showing next summer. The Netherlands claimed Europe’s final spot in the tournament by winning the play-off round and have jumped up to the No. 7 ranked team in the world. They won the Euros in 2017 and forward Lieke Martens claimed the title of FIFA The Best Women’s Player that year as well. Canada and Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair is also chasing the all-time career goal scoring record, which could be set in next summer’s tournament.
Germany vs. Spain
Stade du Hainaut; Valenciennes
Germany is ranked No. 2 in the world and won the 2016 Olympics. But they suffered a shock loss to Iceland in Women’s World Cup qualifying, and fell in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Euros. Gone is head coach Steffi Jones, who replaced Silvia Neid after the Olympics, with former Switzerland head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg now set to take over. Spain, meanwhile, went 8-0 through their qualifying group, the only team to do so. They were led on offense by Jennifer Hermoso’s 7 goals and 9 assists in qualifying. Their youth teams have also had recent success, winning the U-17 Women’s World Cup, and finishing second at the U-20 tournament.
— FIFA Women's World Cup ?? (@FIFAWWC) December 8, 2018