The Sports Examiner

FOOTBALL: Europe’s domination confirmed with seven of the eight quarter-finalists in France

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup may well be remembered as the tournament where Europe’s women took over the sport:

Quarterfinalists in this century:

2003: Europe (4), Asia (1), North America (2), South America (1)
2007: Europe (3), Asia (2), North America (1), Oceania (1), South America (1)
2011: Europe (4), Asia (1), North America (1), Oceania (1), South America (1)
2015: Europe (3), Asia (2), North America (2), Oceania (1)
2019: Europe (7), North America (1)

The Europeans almost had all the spots, but the U.S. women won a tight, 2-1 game vs. Spain thanks to two penalty kicks called against the Spaniards. The U.S. had 75% and 68% of the possession time vs. Thailand and Chile, but 59% vs. Sweden and 54% vs. Spain.

In the eight Round of 16 games, look at the European performance:

● Goals: 15-5
● Shots: 103-104
● On goal: 32-27
● Possession: 52-48%

There will be at least three European teams in the semifinals and the game between France and the U.S. has been anticipated since the draw was announced. Of the remaining teams, five have previously played in the semis:

● England: Third in 2015
● France: Fourth in 2011
● Germany: Champions in 2003-07; second in 1995; fourth in 1991-2015
● Italy: No semifinals.
● Netherlands: No semifinals.
● Norway: 1995 Champions; second in 1991; fourth in 1999-2007
● Sweden: Second in 2003; third in 1991-2011

The schedule:

● 27 June: Norway vs. England
● 28 June: France vs. United States
● 29 June: Italy vs. Netherlands
● 29 June: Germany vs. Sweden

The U.S.-France match will be considered by some as the tournament final, but the road for the winner will be difficult with England or Norway in the semis. The French have already survived two tough tests: a 2-1 win vs. Norway with each team at 50-50 in possession, and the difficult, 2-1 win over Brazil in extra time.

The games are being shown on Fox; the semis will be on 2-3 July, with the third-place game on 6 July and the final on 7 July.

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