The Women's National Team of the United States faced its toughest test of this World Cup so far in its match against Sweden on Thursday and was not a test at all. The score of 2-0 did not reflect it, but the Americans dominated the Swedes from the first to the last whistle. They held the ball 61% of the match and created 13 chances. Sweden, on the other hand, created only four chances and rarely looked threatening.
Judging by the likelihood of the United States winning the World Cup after their first two games, it was difficult. They defeated Thailand's newcomers 13-0, and then chipped Chile with 3: 0, but none of the opponents were expected to go out of the group stage, not to mention running. Americans have always been preferred to win these games with ease. But Sweden entered the tournament with a chance ̵
Blowouts in the first two matches did not say much about what the USWNT is capable of against the biggest races (although Norway, which won the 1995 World Cup, proved that the victories in the group could be a good sign). But the assertive performance against Sweden has proven that USWNT is ready for everyone.
After finishing group F, the Americans will play second in Group B, Spain, in a round of 16. a chance to win over the Americans and advance to the quarterfinals. Spain's defense has shrunk – it has only allowed two goals in three games at the group stage – but the team has struggled to find the back of the net. The Spaniards score only one goal at 90 minutes – 1.2 goals less than the expected goals (xG) suggest they have to score.
The benefit to the Spaniards: They create chances. The downside: they will face a US side that has not given up a goal and has just scored zero chances in their first three games, according to data from Opta Sports. If Spain hopes to cope with the disappointment of the tournament, Jennifer Hermoso will have to take advantage of any chances. The attacker scored twice in the group stage, but her score of 0.67 goals in 90 minutes is below what the xG proposes to have. If Hermoso can not win, the Americans are likely to advance in the quarterfinals.
The USWNT's likely opponent in the quarterfinals hosts France. Les Bleues won all three of his matches at the group stage – although one of those winnings was the result of a * coughing * VAR * coughing dispute * that gave Defender Wendie Renard two shot shots against Nigeria FiveThirtyEight % chance to beat Brazil in a round of 16.
But France may prefer an opponent that does not include Martha. At the age of 33, Seleção's legend definitely passes by her. But she is the top scorer in the history of the World Cup – men or women – for some reason and is still able to inspire awe. And Magic Marta is not alone: Brazilian Cristiano Roziera has four goals at this world championship, putting her behind Australia Sam Kerr and Alex Morgan in the Golden Boot race. If Christiane equals – or outpaces – Kerr and Morgan, the quarterfinals they all expect may not even happen. This means that Brazil must be at least happy with each team with its draw. According to our model, his chances to reduce by 29 percentage points, most of the rest.
The Americans and the French may be the most likely teams to win the tournament, but that does not mean everyone has to sleep in Germany. The Germans won all their group games with relative ease and with the Americans allowed a third consecutive 90-minute shot. It's no accident that the Germans, like the Americans, recognize a goal in the group stage. Our model gives them a 91% chance of defeating Nigeria to move to the quarterfinals and the third best chance to win the tournament.
Indeed, the group stage did not end and told us we did not know they were entering the World Cup. The top of our model looks very much like before the tournament began. On June 7, she gave France the best chances of winning, and secondly the United States, and thirdly Germany. France and the United States have withdrawn since then – the US chances of winning have jumped from 18% to 24% and France's chances of winning have fallen to 19% by 20%. Germany's chances to win jumped from 11% to 15% but its chances to climb in the quarterfinals jumped by astounding 19 percentage points to 91%.
Below the three largest, this is a small rhythm. England has won all of its matches in group stages, but it has scored less than xG offers. And he will have to fight the Cameroon side, which has climbed to knockout stages in dramatic fashion on Thursday, thanks to the goal of interrupting the attack by Ayara Nusht. Holland has won all of its matches at the group stage and is the current European champion, but the Dutch score more goals than xG suggest they should be and will have to defeat the Japanese team that has not achieved such good results.
Australia's World Cup is a slightly mixed bag but Matildas boasts one of the world's finest players in Kerr. Canada has Kristin Sinclair, who has only two goals to tie Abby Vambach's record to the record of all time, but has to beat the next strong country from Sweden. All this shows that this tournament has already lived for the most competitive in the history of the Women's World Cup and we expect more of them to go forward.
Still, the potential match for the champion remains US vs. France Friday. If both teams do what they expect in the 16th round, the eventual World Cup champion can be resolved by the Parc des Princes quarterfinals in Paris next week.
See our newest female world Cup predictions .