Women W’Cup: Crash of football giants, the rise of minnows

Although entering the tournament as clear favourites, given their past performances, European powerhouse Germany, Olympic champions Canada, perennial top performers Brazil, and Italy, have been shockingly eliminated from the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand just after the group stage.

Second-ranked Germany in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking kicked off the campaign poorly with a 2-1 loss against Colombia but bounced back with a 6-0 win against Morocco. However, the European giants got eliminated after they lost 3-2 to the 77th-ranked Zambia, thus finishing third in Group H.

Canada women’s team which were the gold medalists at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, lost a place in the last 16 to Nigeria and co-hosts Australia, also coming third in the Group B table. The two-time CONCACAF Women’s Championship winners, and two-time Olympic bronze medallists, lost 4-0 to Australia and had a goalless draw against the Super Falcons of Nigeria. A 2-1 win against the Republic of Ireland wasn’t enough to send them to the next round. Canada currently ranks 7th in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking.

South American giants, Brazil, although ranked eighth in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking couldn’t secure a slot in the round of 16. The Samba girls opened their campaign with a thumping 4-0 win against Panama on July 24 but lost their second game in a 2-1 defeat to France. Subsequently, they were knocked out when they failed to secure a win against less fancied Jamaica, only settling for a goalless draw on Wednesday.

Italy, on the other hand, defeated Argentina 1-0 in their opening match but lost to a 5-0 heavy defeat against Sweden. The Italians currently ranked 16th in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, failed to move to the next round after a 3-2 defeat to 54th-ranked South Africa.

The PUNCH reports that the round of 16 will begin on August 5. Nigeria will face England on Monday, August 7.

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