After 24 thrilling fixtures across six groups at the round-robin stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we take a look at the state of play as teams enter the final round of group matches.
Eight teams have already secured their passage through to the knockouts but there is still plenty to play for over the coming days as final group standings are wrapped up and we discover which four best third-placed finishers will also progress.
Key: (A) = Advanced
Group A (Monday – 9pm CET)
France are safely through after comfortably dispatching South Korea and Norway but need a point against Nigeria to progress as Group A winners.
Nigeria themselves could qualify with a win as long as Norway don’t achieve the same result in their match against South Korea, who need a huge goal swing to even qualify as one of the four best third-placed group finishers.
In the event that Nigeria and Norway both get the three points, they will be joint top with France meaning that automatic progression will come down to goal difference and possibly even goals scored.
Group B (Monday – 6pm CET)
Having scraped their way past China PR and Spain, Germany can relax in the knowledge that a positive result against South Africa will see them win Group B whilst their two main rivals meet in the other final group match.
That means that all Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side need to do is avoid defeat otherwise Spain or China PR will snatch top spot, in turn potentially gifting them an easier path in the knockouts.
South Africa meanwhile need a huge result of at least two goals if are to stand any chance at progressing via the best third-placed finishers route.
Group C (Tuesday – 9pm CET)
Unlike Group B, this group could have a very complicated finish because three teams could all finish level on points and goal difference.
In order for that scenario to potentially happen, Brazil must beat Italy 2-0 whilst Australia see off Jamaica by four which would leave them all level on six points and a goal difference of +4.
Should that scenario occur then goals scored would come into play with Australia progressing in first place with eight goals.
Brazil and Italy would however still be level after applying that method with seven goals each, meaning that Brazil would progress as group runners-up due to winning the game between themselves and Italy.
Either way, this is a complex scenario that could arise although with six points each, those three teams will all progress anyway with one of them getting through as one of four best third-placed finishers.
Jamaica meanwhile need to just win by a huge margin and hope for a miracle if they are to squeeze through into the next round.
Group D (Wednesday – 9pm CET)
If the Group C scenario is a head scratcher then Group D is much simpler to understand.
England are already through but need just a point to escape as group winners when they face Japan, who know that defeat plus an Argentina victory could see them drop to third and need to rely on results in other groups to see them through.
Scotland meanwhile must beat Argentina to even stand a shot at progression into the knockouts, whilst a win for the South American side would most definitely see them through regardless of whether it’s in second or third place in the group.
Group E (Thursday – 6pm CET)
This is a very simple scenario because the Netherlands meet Canada which means that whoever wins the tie will top the group, whilst a draw would see the Dutch progress as Group E winners.
Cameroon and New Zealand meanwhile are probably going to need a win from their clash if are to potentially also reach the next stage, because a draw definitely won’t be enough by the time they meet on Thursday.
Group F (Thursday – 9pm CET)
Like Group E, this group has simple mathematics to it because whoever wins the match between USA and Sweden will win the group, whilst the Americans will be top with even a point.
As for Chile and Thailand, they could very well be playing for pride come kick-off if the four best third-placed finishers are settled come Thursday night.
In the unlikely event that there is still a spot available for third-place, Chile will surely be favourites given their goal difference but will need a strong result if are to realistically stand a shot at stealing one of those spots.