The grind of the 2023 Women’s World Cup group stage is complete and will give way to what should be equally entertaining knockout rounds in Australia and New Zealand.
The final bracket was determined Thursday after the last round of group stage matches brought an end to one of the most competitive and unpredictable opening rounds in Women’s World Cup history.
Colombia (ranked 25th) and Morocco (72) emerged from Group H on Thursday to snatch places in the round of 16. Both represented the latest of a handful of teams to defy expectations and qualify, while group favorite Germany was eliminated in dramatic fashion on the last day after drawing with South Korea.
South Africa, Jamaica, and Nigeria also pulled off upsets that helped each nation book unexpected tickets to the round of 16.
The surprising berths came at the expense of nations that couldn’t live up to expectations, such as Brazil, Italy, and Canada.
The defending champion United States almost suffered an epic collapse but narrowly escaped its group stage finale with a draw to qualify after Portugal hit the post in injury time. Instead of going home early, the top-ranked U.S. women’s national team will continue its title defense in the next round against a Sweden side that’s ranked third in the world.
Here’s the complete schedule for the round of 16 (all times ET):
- Switzerland vs. Spain (Aug. 5 at 1 a.m.)
- Japan vs. Norway (Aug. 5 at 4 a.m.)
- Netherlands vs. South Africa (Aug. 5 at 10 p.m.)
- Sweden vs. United States (Aug. 6 at 5 a.m.)
- England vs. Nigeria (Aug. 7 at 3:30 a.m.)
- Australia vs. Denmark (Aug. 7 at 6:30 a.m.)
- Jamaica vs. Colombia (Aug. 8 at 4 a.m.)
- France vs. Morocco (Aug. 8 at 7 a.m.)
The Women’s World Cup final is slated for Aug. 20 in Sydney.