The Swedish and Dutch women continued their dominant run in the tournament.
The final group stage fixtures in women’s football at Tokyo Olympics 2020 followed the same pattern as previous days, with 16 goals scored across six games. The Netherlands scored eight against China, as Vivianne Miedema took her goal tally to eight in the tournament. The USWNT, on the other hand, struggled yet again and settled for a draw against Australia. Sweden maintained their perfect record with a 2-0 over New Zealand, while Brazil and Japan secured narrow 1-0 wins.
Here are the key takeaways from the final group stage matches in women’s football at Tokyo Olympics:
USWNT limp to the knockouts with a draw against Australia
When the Tokyo Olympics started, the US women’s football team were the favourites and had not lost in competitive matches since the start of 2019. But, the 0-3 defeat to Sweden in their opening game ended their 44-match unbeaten run. The United States Women have been lethargic all tournament. Australia have looked stellar, but have a negative goal difference, despite having Chelsea’s goal machine Samantha Kerr.
The USWNT’s tendency to drift into offside positions was on display yet again, when they were denied a first-half goal. Despite being the more superior side on-paper, the USA looked disjointed between the lines, leading to a breakdown in attacks. Australia held on to a composed defensive setup and enjoyed 60% possession as well. Despite that, the Aussies were not quick enough to hurt their opponents and ended up goalless.
The USA sit second in Group G with four points, whereas Australia sit third with a -1 goal difference.
Dominant Dutch put on goal fest yet again
Vivianne Miedema and Lieke Martens put in convincing displays yet again, as the Netherlands thrashed China 8-2 in their final group fixture. Starting the tournament with a 10-3 win against Zambia, the Dutch football team advanced to the Tokyo Olympics quarter-finals with a +13 goal difference.
The Netherlands started strong with Shanice van de Sanden scoring in the 12th minute. The Dutch No. 7 moved well to find Jackie Groenen’s pass and put her team ahead in the match. However, China’s star Shanshan Wang scored in the 28th minute to level things, before Lineth Beerensteyn’s brace put the Dutch 3-1 ahead at half-time.
The flurry of goals then came from Miedema, who came on in the 62nd minute. Both Martens and Miedema scored braces, complemented by Victoria Pelova’s 71st-minute goal. Yanwen Wang scored China’s second goal, but it was a mere consolation. The Dutch, after a dominant display, qualify as group leaders with three wins, while China return empty-handed with a last-place finish.
Canada & Great Britian play out close draw at Kashima
The top two sides in Group E, Canada and Great Britain women’s football teams, played a 1-1 draw at Kashima Soccer Stadium to advance to the quarter-finals of Tokyo Olympics. While Great Britain looked the more composed side out of the two, they had to wait until the 85th minute to equalize.
Manchester City midfielder Caroline Weir came to the rescue of the Brits, as she scored off her City teammate Lucy Bronze’s assist. Prior to that, Canada took the lead with Adriana Leon’s goal in the 55th minute. Britain created plenty of goalscoring chances, as they attacked through the middle and from the wide areas. However, lack of a clinical presence upfront over-complicated things for them.
Great Britain finished with seven points, while Canada finished with five points to end second in the group. Chile left without securing a single point, with Japan qualifying for the knockouts as one of the two best third-placed teams.
Sweden’s winning run continues with convincing success against New Zealand
After a flying start to their Tokyo Olympics campaign with a grand victory against the US, Sweden have looked the best version of themselves. The Swedes wrapped up their group fixtures with a win against New Zealand. Scoring two goals in quick succession, they pulled off another convincing performance.
Anna Anveggard and Madelen Janogy’s 17th and 29th minute strike put them in the driver’s seat and ultimately carried them to victory. Sweden did not slow down even after taking a 2-0 lead and registered 15 shots with healthy ball possession. Sweden sit comfortably at the top as New Zealand return home with a point.