Women’s World Cup Power Rankings: USWNT stumble as Japan, Netherlands and Sweden look like contenders


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The round of 16 is officially over and the quarterfinals are set in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The round concluded with Colombia and France advancing into the quarterfinals, which are slated to begin August 10. Teams will now battle it out to advance to the semifinals set to begin on August 14 and two teams will eventually compete for the World Cup final set for August 20. 

The ninth edition of the tournament has already been full of history-making events. Some moments have been bright and others gloomy as Morocco became the only debutant team to advance into the knockout rounds, and the United States made an unprecedented exit in the round of 16 — their worst performance ever in the World Cup. 

Now that the final eight teams are confirmed, let’s take a look at where they landed on our power rankings:

Power Rankings

1.

Japan

The undeniable team to beat this World Cup. Have faced multiple teams with different styles and showed they can adapt and beat anyone. Hinata Miyazawa looks unstoppable and is a certified bucket with five goals through four games. 

2.

Netherlands

+3

A squad that’s getting stronger as the tournament goes on and that’s always a danger for opponents. No Danielle van de Donk for the quarterfinal will be a big hole to fill, but the Dutch have depth and Damaris Egurrola is ready to go.

3.

Sweden

Took down the reigning champions USWNT in penalties and are going to be in the fight of their lives against Japan. Kosovare Asllani has been a crucial cog in the midfield and leads the team in most receptions (64) between the middle third and defensive line.

4.

England

-1

Played a nervy match against Nigeria and needed another clutch performance by Chloe Kelly in penalties. Still heavy favorites for the crown, but they’ll miss Lauren James (red card suspension) and possibly Kiera Walsh. She limped off the pitch at the 120-minute mark and was initially questionable after sustaining what looked like a significant knee injury in the group stage. 

5.

Spain

+1

Recovered quickly after an own goal and disposed of the Swiss by exposing their form and level in a blowout scoreline. Aitana Bonmati is a bonafide Golden Ball candidate, and Alexa Putellas got to manage her minutes ahead of the quarterfinal.

6.

France

+2

They’re no strangers to conceding goals but are producing their own goal-scoring at a good time in the tournament. They took down a debutant team in Morocco but will need to keep winning to hush the doubters. Kadidiatou Diani is eyeing the Golden Ball with four goals and three assists. 

7.

Australia

+7

The Matildas have navigated the entire tournament without Sam Kerr — who finally got match minutes against Denmark — and have produced results. But it’s Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, and Hayley Raso who have rapidly become the key attacking keys for the squad.

8.

Colombia

+1

Catalina Usme is providing experience and goal-scoring for Las Chicas Superpoderosas. Had a crucial game-winner and helped elevate some pressure off 18-year-old Linda Caicedo. They’re chasing history and could do it. 

9.

USA

-5

Saved their best game for last against Sweden but it wasn’t enough. Eliminated on penalties despite an iconic performance by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher who made a save and converted a penalty. 

10.

Nigeria

-3

A massive performance against England where the Super Falcons had large stretches of superior play. Knocked out on penalty kicks.

11.

Jamaica

The Reggae Girlz finally opened up out of their defensive shape a bit to try and nab a goal against Colombia. They fell short and are out of contention after a historic sophomore appearance in the tournament. 

12.

South Africa

-2

Knocked out by the Netherlands, but Banyana Banyana was fierce on the pitch and showed off technical ability and finishing. 

13.

Norway

-1

Met their match in the knockout rounds against Japan after a strange group stage. Bowed out of the tournament after being considered dark horses and have more questions about the team moving forward.

14.

Morocco

+1

The only debutant team to make the knockout rounds and have stamped their place in history. Morocco exit the tournament with a bright future. 

15.

Denmark

-2

Couldn’t generate momentum against co-host Australia and their lack of offensive production in the final third caught up with them in the round of 16.

16.

Switzerland

The team fizzled out towards the end of the group stage as they went  cold in front of the goal. Too much depends on one player, and Ramona Bachman will need more scoring production. 





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