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Australia and England were shaky early at Women’s World Cup, need balanced play in knockout round

by Ryan Lee
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Women's World Cup

Australia and England had a shaky start in the Women’s World Cup, but they have the opportunity to prove themselves as strong contenders in the knockout round. England performed well in Group D with three wins, allowing only one goal in a dominating victory over China, but they struggled a bit in their earlier 1-0 wins against Haiti and Denmark.

England, Japan, and Sweden are the only teams to go undefeated in group play, and England’s next challenge is a knockout game against Nigeria, who caused a surprise upset by defeating Australia 3-2.

Nigeria, though historically a regular World Cup qualifier, has only reached the quarterfinals once in 1999. They are eager to repeat this achievement and are prepared to face the difficult task of playing against the European champions, England.

On the other hand, Australia had a nerve-wracking time in their group matches, especially without their star striker, Sam Kerr. They had a mediocre 1-0 win over Ireland but were stunned by Nigeria’s victory. However, they secured their spot in the knockout round by defeating the Tokyo Olympics gold medalists, Canada, with a convincing 4-0 win.

In the knockout round, England will be facing Nigeria, with the Lionesses adopting a tactical change in formation. They are expected to continue with the 3-4-1-2 formation that helped them secure victory against China. Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, expects a challenging game but believes in her team’s strength and determination as Nigerians.

Australia’s next challenge in the knockout round is against Denmark. Despite not performing up to their potential in the group stage, Australia managed to top Group B. They will likely have their star striker, Sam Kerr, back in the lineup for the crucial match against Denmark.

Denmark is returning to the World Cup after a long absence and is powered by forward Pernille Harder, who has an impressive international goal-scoring record. It will be a tough task for Australia’s defense to contain Denmark’s quality players.

Both matches hold significant importance for the teams involved, as they look to prove themselves as genuine contenders in the Women’s World Cup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Women’s World Cup

1. What is the Women’s World Cup?

The Women’s World Cup is an international soccer tournament for women’s national teams held every four years, organized by FIFA.

2. How did England perform in the group stage?

England had a solid performance in the group stage, winning all three games in Group D and allowing just one goal.

3. Who did England face in the knockout round?

England faced Nigeria in the knockout round after Nigeria upset Australia in the group stage.

4. What was Australia’s performance like in the group stage?

Australia had a nerve-racking group stage, winning one match but suffering a surprising defeat against Nigeria.

5. Who is Australia’s star player?

Australia’s star player is striker Sam Kerr, who missed some of the group stage matches due to injury.

6. Who will Australia face in the knockout round?

Australia will face Denmark in the knockout round, a team they previously defeated in a friendly match.

7. How did Nigeria perform in the group stage?

Nigeria had a mixed performance in the group stage, securing a crucial victory over Australia but also drawing two scoreless matches.

8. Has Nigeria ever reached the quarterfinals before?

Yes, Nigeria has reached the quarterfinals once in 1999, making them the only African team to achieve this feat.

9. What tactical change did England make in their group matches?

England switched their formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-1-2 in their match against China, which resulted in a victory.

10. Who is the key player for Denmark?

Denmark is powered by forward Pernille Harder, who has an impressive record with 71 international goals.

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