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Power Rankings: The 8 Quarterfinalists In The Women's World Cup

Power Rankings: The 8 Quarterfinalists In The Women's World Cup
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With the first round of the knockout stages concluded, only eight Women's World Cup contenders remain, all of whom are still in with a shot to book their spot in the tournament’s final on August 20th.

Germany, Brazil and Canada all fell short at the group stages, while the recent round of 16 saw outsiders Nigeria put it up to European champions England (and glisten Ireland’s harsh run into sharp, yet heartening focus), as well as the unexpected exit of the reigning title holders, the USA.

Some of the heavy hitters still remain alongside the bolters, but if this year’s World Cup trend is set to continue, the only guarantees are shock results.

That said, here’s a (far from) definitive ranking of all of the teams left standing, in one of the most unpredictable, yet entertaining World Cups in recent history. We've gone from least likely to most likely to win the tournament.



Netherlands’ manager Andries Jonker said it best himself in his post-match interview after the Dutch women progressed to the quarter finals following their win over South Africa; “we gave the ball away too much.”

Highlighting his side’s weakpoint that was visible to all, one could guess that it will be an area that will be exploited by the better teams in the tournament.

Ranked ninth in the world, their 7-0  display vs Vietnam is one of the widest margins in the this year’s World Cup, but their firepower seems to dim against higher quality opposition as can be seen through their 1-0 win over Portugal and their 1-1 draw with the USA.


Missing star name Vivianne Miedema with an ACL injury, PSG’s Lieke Martens is the one to watch for them in that department, as is Manchester City’s Jill Roord who notched her fourth goal of the tournament during their 2-0 victory over South Africa.


While the bookies have the South American nation as the least likely team to win outright, Colombia are nothing if not hard to beat.

As Ireland know far to well and as became notorious during the warm up fixtures, they’re a physical side. They’ve also plenty of recent experience in competing at the top level of the game given this is now their third World Cup and in the last edition in 2019 they similarly reached the last 16, only knocked out by the would be champions USA.


There they lost 2-0, and while this year’s dent marks a step further in their journey, it may be a step too far.

Who knows though, perhaps veteran Catalina Usme, or even 18-year-old Linda Caicedo could pop up with a moment of magic, further prolonging their World Cup dream.


Third in FIFA’s world rankings, Sweden place highest of those currently still in the tournament, but they are yet to fully showcase why that might be.

Such an accolade didn’t count for much when it comes to those ranked first and second in the USA and Germany respectively, and so the Peter Gerhardsson’s managed outfit will be aspiring to show there is still merit in their positioning.

To this point, they’re solid at the back, but are yet to get the best out of the the sublime talent at their fingertips like Arsenal’s Stina Blackstenius, Barcelona’s Fridolina Rolfö, AC Milan’s Kosovare Asllani, Chelsea’s Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Bayern Munich’s Magdalena Eriksson, to name a few.

With a falling coefficient and an underinvestment in comparison to the other top women’s football nations of France, Germany, Spain, England and Italy, they could come to rue the slipping standards called out by Asllani, Caroline Seger, and other players past and present.

The one bright spark however could be the fire that their narrow penalty shootout win over the Americans might have sparked under them, giving much needed confidence to their keeper, and player of the match on that occasion Zećira Mušović, as well as the controversial winning penalty scorer Lina Hurtig.


Dazzling with world renowned stars, some people might expect the Spanish to place higher than the next listed challenger, although their group stage meeting provides much needed insight on the situation.

To some degree, they suffer with a split camp and a  ‘turbulent’ World Cup build up, which surely can’t be aiding things when it comes to on the pitch proceedings, although that is yet to fully rear it’s head.

They had strong exhibits against Costa Rica and Zambia but were outclassed by Japan 4-0 in their final in the group stage outing before regaining composure to secure their spot in the quart finals with a 5-1 trouncing of Switzerland.

Aitana Bonmati, Alba María Redondo and Jennifer Hermoso are coming up with the goods for them so far, although Alexia Putellas, coming back off an ACL injury is yet to fully hit the ground running.

Their manager Jorge Vilda has come under criticism for still being unsure of his first eleven. Given the variability of the squad that should come as no surprise, but it doesn’t ease the pressure on the Spanish leader who will be hopeful his technical group will come through despite it all.


What some claim to be Spain’s frailty is lauded as Japan’s strength, but seeing as they’re so good to watch in doing so that all seems to slide by the wayside.


Their versatility in tactics, not only from game to game but also within each game, speaks to their robustness, and might be why they’re emerging as a dark horse in the competition.

Currently 11th in the world rankings, they surpassed Norway 3-1 to get to this point, and more impressively that goal is the only one they’ve conceded throughout the entire tournament.

14 goals scored the other direction, 23 year old Hinata Miyazawa has done brilliantly for them, and is the World Cup’s leading runner for the golden boot as things stand with five goals netted.

Mina Tanaka and Riko Ueki help her to propel things on there, and, as can be seen through their sweeping aside of Spain, are well able to break up possession play and hit teams on the counter.

Ranking mid table in the top eight World Cup contenders is a good showing for Japan, setting a good building block to catapult from in future tournaments.


As the hosts, Tony Gustavsson’s Australia will be delighted to have made it into the backend of the tournament, especially having done so without their taliswoman Sam Kerr.

Their tournament hopes fell on a knife edge when it was revealed the WSL star had suffered a calf injury just days before the tournament, but while some feared it would make their attack disappointingly blunt, the other players have rose to the occasion to ensure they sustained a razor sharp chance at progression.

Man City’s Mary Fowler, Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord and Real Madrid’s Hayley Raso have really rose to the fore while she was gone, as has interim captain Steph Catley who piloted the ship while the Chelsea woman was sidelined.

Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry and Alanna Kennedy have also impressed, and with Kerr back, and the support of the nation behind them, they could be up there with the main players to go all the way this summer.


2. France

In the midst of having a number of players missing with injury (Amandine Henry, Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto to name a few), France advanced to the last eight with a convincing 4-0 win over versus Morocco.

Granted, they were expected to do so, but the manner in which they did only further reinforces why they’re in contention for the outright prize.

What they lack at the back, outside of Wendie Renard, they make up for in attack, with Eugenie Le Sommer, Kenza Dali and Kadidiatou Diani all in top form for them as the World cup moves forward.

If they were to go through to the semi-finals that would be the first time since 2011 they’ve achieved that feat, and with the tournament wide open, who’s to say they’ll be stopped.


The European champions may not have been everyone’s pick approaching the World Cup, but they certainly are now.

With a number of high profile absentees from their captain, Leah Williamson, to the Euros golden boot winner, Beth Mead (both of whom are out with ACL’s), they triumph in the face of adversity, and continue to do so.

They weren’t phased when the engine of their team, Kiera Walsh, picked up a knee injury that saw her ruled out of their final group game, switching formation and tactics and still pulling off a 6-1 hammering of China.

Fourth in the world rankings, they’ll back themselves to clinch the number one trophy in the coming weeks, thanks to the form of players like Rachel Daly, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and keeper Mary Earps, who all shone during their penalty shootout victory over Nigeria in the last round.

Chelsea’s Lauren James was also up there, and a contender for the player of the tournament with her nimblegoalscoring ability and playmaking prowess, but as a result of the red card she was shown in that game she remains a doubt for the rest of the tournament.

With a Euros and a Finalissima in the bag, Sarina Wiegman will be doing her best to complete at the end of the month.

Where and when to watch the remaining eight World Cup contenders

Spain vs Netherlands- 2:00am, Friday the 11th of August.

Japan vs Sweden- 8:30am, Friday the 11th of August.

Australia vs France- 8:00am, Saturday the 12th of August.

England vs Colombia- 11:30am, Saturday the 12th of August.

SEE ALSO: 'Because Of This World Cup, People Have Changed Their Perception Of Women's Football'

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Carlsberg 00 is an official partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team

Carlsberg 00 is an official partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team

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