In the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, former world champions Japan have shown exceptional performance.
The tournament has provided a fair share of surprises, with unexpected results and thrilling encounters. Some of the top-ranked teams did not make it past the group stages, including Germany, a two-time champion. This turn of events has flung the competition wide open, with various teams gaining momentum. But which of the more prominent nations have left a mark so far?
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Japan Dominates as USA Struggles
Japan has emerged as the tournament’s standout team, leading in goal scoring and maintaining a clean sheet for 270 minutes.
Hinata Miyazawa, who has scored four goals in just two starts, is a key player, along with eight others in the squad under 23 years old.
Head Coach Futoshi Ikeda used 17 different players during the group games, maintaining the same four starters across all matches. Their 4-0 victory over Spain was a testament to their precise finishing.
Next, Japan will face former champions Norway.
On the other hand, the USA, typically a dominant force, has shown uncharacteristic weakness during the group stage. A largely new squad compared to the one that won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, along with underperformance from veterans, has brought them under scrutiny.
However, the USA is not to be underestimated, despite their narrow escape against Portugal in the group stage.
England Seizes Opportunity
While Japan has been the talk of the tournament, European champions England have also displayed prowess, particularly during their 6-1 win against China.
Germany’s unexpected departure has given England a potentially easier path to the semi-finals, assuming they progress.
Spain and France Show Mixed Performances, Sweden Sails Through
Spain managed to leave their off-field troubles behind to register convincing victories over Costa Rica and Zambia, but their loss to Japan has cast doubts. Questions about the team’s harmony remain, given previous conflicts with coach Jorge Vilda.
Sweden, ranked third globally, has had perhaps the easiest passage through the group stages among pre-tournament favorites, winning all their matches.
Despite a shaky start with Jamaica, France has been steadily rising as a formidable competitor. However, there are concerns about their defense and squad depth, with criticism from manager Herve Renard.
Despite the struggles faced by many top teams at the World Cup, France can take comfort in their relatively smooth progress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Women’s World Cup 2023
Which team has been particularly impressive in the Women’s World Cup 2023?
Japan has been a standout team in the Women’s World Cup 2023, leading in goal scoring and maintaining a clean sheet for 270 minutes.
How has the USA team performed in the Women’s World Cup 2023?
The USA team, typically a dominant force in women’s football, has been struggling in the group stage of the World Cup 2023, which has been attributed to a largely new squad and underperformance from veterans.
What has been the impact of Germany’s early exit from the tournament?
Germany’s early exit from the tournament has opened up a potentially easier path for England, assuming they progress through to the semi-finals.
How has England performed in the Women’s World Cup 2023?
England, led by young player Lauren James, has shown prowess in the tournament, especially with their 6-1 win against China. Despite an injury to key midfielder Keira Walsh, the team appears strong.
How have Spain and France fared in the tournament?
Spain has had mixed performances, managing to register convincing victories over Costa Rica and Zambia, but their loss to Japan has raised doubts about their progress. France, despite a shaky start, is emerging as a formidable competitor, but there are concerns about their defense and squad depth.
What has been Sweden’s performance in the Women’s World Cup 2023?
Sweden, ranked third globally, has had a smooth passage through the group stages, winning all their matches.