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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Group Stage Round-up: Record breakers and Shock exits

After 15 days and 48 games played, there have been many talking points. Here is a recap on the teams advancing to the knockout stages and some memorable moments that led them to reach the round of sixteen.

Friday 4th August 2023

 

Over the past fifteen days, the summer's tournament is exceeding expectations with 1,222,839 fans attending throughout the 48 games, which is a 29% increase from this stage in 2019. There have been 126 goals scored between the 32 nations who have been battling it out to make the knockout stages, and in every group, there were some significant surprises. The reigning champions USA had a narrow escape against debutants Portugal- who are 21st ranked in the world- after Ana Capeta hit the post. Whereas co-host Australia had a nail-biting last fixture to knock out Olympic Champions Canada.


European Champions, England roared to the top of their group with a 100% win record, conceding just one goal, and are joined by previous champions, Japan and 3rd in the world ranking, Sweden who are the only three sides to have won all their group games.

After some shocking results in this stage, there are some big names leaving. Brazil- who is ranked 8th in the world ranking and has the top scorer for both women's and men's World Cups, Marta- and Germany, who have never not advanced past the group stages, are two of the main shock exits of this year. This will be the first time in 28 years since Brazil has failed to get out of the group stages. They are also joined by Italy who have failed to reach past the group stage in both this summer's tournament and last year's Euros.

This year is the first time that three African teams have advanced to the round of 16 as Nigeria, Jamaica and Morocco all impress in their opening stages. Morocco were able to recover with back-to-back victories to become the only debutant (out of the eight this year) to qualify for the next stage; Anissa Lahmari states "We all came together, we had the phone and we were all praying. Afterwards it was just an explosion of joy." to show just how much this advancement means to the team.


With three of the top 10 teams being knocked out in the group stages, it shows just how much football has progressed around the world. Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall stated, "Development is fast in women's football at the moment. There's no standing still. We see that with USA, we see that with Germany, we saw that with Brazil as well. Other nations are moving fast here now."

These fast-paced developments are sure to make the round of 16 interesting with Nigeria, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Nigeria, Japan, Spain, England, Denmark, Netherlands, USA, France, Jamaica, Sweden, South Africa, Colombia, and Morocco all determined to show just how good they all are.

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