FIFA Women’s World Cup – Last 16 Rankings

© Getty Images (3)


Women’s World Cup Power Rankings: Assessing the Last 16


The Women’s World Cup field has been trimmed by eight.

A rather straightforward group stage has been completed with minimal surprise. Favorites like France, USA, England and Germany all coasted to first-place group finishes, and no team viewed as a contender prior to the competition has bowed out. Given the safety net of four of six third-place finishers going through, that was always likely to be the case. The biggest surprise of all may be Italy, which topped a group featuring Brazil and Australia via tiebreaker, with all three level on six points–but as the 15th-ranked team in the world in a deeper field than ever, perhaps the perception of Le Azzurre should have been a little stronger entering the tournament.



Ad 00:30 – up next: “Five Ways FIFA Can Help Grow Women’s Soccer”

An underdog-less group stage means a powerhouse-laden knockout field, and that’s what the competition has been left with for the next four rounds that feature some tantalizing prospects on both sides of the bracket.




Here’s how the remaining teams stack up:

1. USA

(3-0-0, +18 goal differential, vs. Spain in last 16)

The Americans had an admittedly easy group, but they took care of business in the toughest of the three matches by beating longtime nemisis Sweden (even if the Swedes were at less than full strength). The road ahead appears to be brutal. First up it’s Spain, a team that frustrated the U.S. in a winter friendly, only to have Christen Press’s one moment of magic be the difference in a 1-0 win. Beyond that, the road could very well be the three teams that immediately follow in these rankings–and FIFA’s world table. If the U.S. is to repeat as champion, it will have certainly earned its crown.



2. France

(3-0-0, +6 GD, vs. Brazil in last 16)

The host nation blew away South Korea to open the competition, but the two matches that followed revealed a squad that perhaps isn’t as dynamic and prolific as it appears on paper–or just one that hasn’t fully hit its stride yet as it grows into the tournament. France benefited heavily from VAR against both Norway and Nigeria, though, and it’s only going to be able to rely on technology for so long. Brazil represents a tricky opponent in the round of 16, and if Les Bleues are too consumed with a potential showdown against the USA in the quarterfinals, they could be caught looking ahead and picked off by Marta & Co.



3. England

(3-0-0, +4 GD, vs. Cameroon in last 16)

England completed a professional job in beating Scotland, Argentina and Japan to coast to the knockout stage with maximum points. The Lionesses don’t match the explosive capabilities of the USA or France, but that was never going to be their game. In their last 14 games, they haven’t exceeded three goals once. What they can do, though, is control a game, play a disciplined style and get results. Its path–Cameroon, followed by either Norway or Australia–is certainly a manageable one to return to the semifinal stage that it reached in 2015, and there’s reason to believe England can improve on its bronze-winning performance from four years ago.



4. Germany

(3-0-0, +6 GD, vs. Nigeria in last 16)

Marozsan Watch is officially on. Germany also took maximum points in the group stage despite not having star playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsan for games against Spain and South Africa with a broken toe. She had been ruled out for the opening stage, but the door was left open for a return in the knockout rounds. If she does make her way back, then a run to the title is certainly within reach. In the meantime, Germany is one of two teams yet to concede a goal (the USA is the other) and has a favorable last-16 match against Nigeria for which it can probably get away with resting Marozsan and not expediting her return before necessary.



5. Netherlands

(3-0-0, +4 GD, vs. Japan in last 16)

There’s plenty of talk about the USA and France’s attack, but the Dutch’s is right up there, with Vivanne Miedema, Lieke Martens and Shanice van de Sanden leading the line. That hasn’t necessarily translated into goals, but it certainly has translated into chances, and there’s no side in the field that will spook the 2017 European champions. Drawing Japan for the last 16 makes for a challenge, but the Asian power hasn’t shown the same quality we’ve become accustomed to seeing over the last eight years, while the Dutch are very clearly on the rise.



6. Norway

(2-1-0, +3 GD, vs. Australia in last 16)

Norway showed well during the group stage and played France tightly, ultimately succumbing to defeat over a VAR decision to award a penalty. A last-16 matchup with Australia is a tough draw, but the Ada Hegerberg-less side should have no concerns about being able to score on the Matildas. Whether it can stop Sam Kerr is another story entirely. But if there’s a dark-horse of sorts–historically speaking, few are as accomplished as Norway–who could make a run from a loaded side of the bracket, it’s this one.



7. Italy

(2-1-0, +5 GD, vs. China in last 16)

Le Azzurre not only won a difficult group, it winds up with a pretty winnable last-16 game against China, too. It won’t be easy, as China can suffocate the energy out of a game. Italy’s all-around numbers were skewed by a 5-0 thrashing of Jamaica, but it’s shown it belongs on this stage, and a run to the quarterfinals would exceed anyone’s pre-tournament expectations.



8. Australia

(2-1-0, +3 GD, vs. Norway in last 16)

The win over Jamaica juiced Australia’s–and Kerr’s–group stats in a big way, but there was never any doubt about its ability to score goals. Whether it can keep them out against top competition is a different question, and it’s the one that will ultimately determine whether this side can avoid another early knockout elimination and make a run to the semifinals and beyond.

Sam Kerr holding a ball: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images© Provided by TIME Inc. Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images



9. Spain

(1-1-1, +1 GD, vs. USA in last 16)

Spain’s problem is the opposite of Australia’s. It has little problem controlling the ball and defending well. It has plenty of problems translating its play into goals. Of its three goals in the group stage, all of them came in the opener against South Africa, and two came via penalty kick. Spain was shut out by Germany and then China in a loss and draw, respectively, and it’s playing a dicey game if its approach is to defend its way to a knockout run–especially with the prolific, in-form USA on deck. Spain can take solace from limiting the U.S. in a 1-0 defeat in January, but the Americans are simply in a different place right now.



10. Brazil

(2-1-0, +3 GD, vs. France in last 16)

Brazil entered the Women’s World Cup on a nine-match losing streak, and Marta offered some unflattering comments for the squad before its trip to France. Naturally, that resulted in Brazil beating Jamaica and Italy and being in position to beat Australia before collapsing and blowing a 2-0 lead. Marta, who became the all-time leading goalscorer in the history of any senior World Cup, men’s or women’s, still doesn’t appear to be her prolific self, and a showdown vs. France sure figures to be the end of the road. That’s the price of a third-place group finish.



11. Canada

(2-1-0, +2 GD, vs. Sweden in last 16)

Like with Spain, the big question surrounding Canada is whether it can score enough. Christine Sinclair got her first of the competition against the Netherlands in the group finale to pull within two of Abby Wambach’s all-time international record, but that the 36-year-old remains one of Canada’s chief attacking threats at this stage in her career says plenty about the depth of the attack. After winning best young player honors on home soil in 2015, Kadeisha Buchanan has been immense in the back, and the Canadians certainly have what it takes to tame Sweden. Asking to do the same of potentially Germany in the quarterfinals, however, is a bit much.



12. Sweden

(2-1-0, +4 GD, vs. Canada in last 16)

It’s unclear what to expect from Sweden. Like the USA, it’s first two matches were hard to use as a litmus test given the sizable gap in quality. Then, Sweden heavily rotated its squad against the U.S., giving the impression it didn’t really care to go all out to win the group when a more favorable route, at least on paper, came with a second-place finish. After everything, we still haven’t seen Sweden’s best. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist is capable of playing with anybody, but would it really be a shock if it bowed out vs. Canada? Hardly.



13. Japan

(1-1-1, -1 GD, vs. Netherlands in last 16)

Finalists in 2011 and 2015, Japan has been wildly underwhelming in France. There’s been little to suggest a third straight run to the final is in the cards, especially with a daunting last-16 matchup vs. the Netherlands. Japan scored just twice in the group stage–both goals coming in a win over Scotland–and is lacking the game-changing qualities that made it one of the world’s best.



14. China

(1-1-1, 0 GD, vs. Italy in last 16)

When it plays, China definitely typically have the best team in the field, but it is also certainly going to make its opponents work for everything they get. A physical side that only conceded once in the group stage, China won’t be an easy out and could perhaps parlay its frustrating style into an upset of Italy and a place in the quarterfinals. We’ve yet to see the best of PSG star Wang Shuang. Perhaps she can be the difference in a low-scoring defensive struggle.



15. Nigeria

(1-2-0, -2 GD, vs. Germany in last 16)

Hard-done by a VAR-aided penalty retake that gave France the ammo necessary to win their group finale, Nigeria wound up as one of the top four third-place finishers in excruciating circumstances. First, it was boosted by Argentina’s VAR-aided penalty retake that kept Scotland out of the equation and sent things to the final day. Then, watching as Chile, which needed a win by three goals or more to take Nigeria’s place among the top third-place sides, hit a late penalty kick off the crossbar and only beat Thailand 2-0, the Super Falcons were cleared for celebration. Germany will most likely spell the end for the African side, but what a thrilling journey it’s been.



16. Cameroon

(1-2-0, -2 GD, vs. England in last 16)

This spot in the last 16 wound up going to the Indomitable Lionesses after a wild last couple of days in the group stage. Cameroon ultimately punched its ticket at the death of its group finale, beating New Zealand on Ajara Nchout’s last-gasp heroics. You’d expect England to be a bit more disciplined in defense than New Zealand, but Cameroon will surely have a nothing-to-lose vibe after reaching the last 16 in such thrilling conditions.



Related Slideshow: Best of the 2019 Women’s World Cup (Provided by imagn)

a basketball player in front of a crowd: United States forward Tobin Heath (17) celebrates with defender Kelley O'Hara (5) after scoring a goal against Sweden during the second half in group stage play in the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 at Stade Oceane on June 20, 2019.

More For You

  • 15 Celebrities Who Were Banned From Hosting 'Saturday Night Live!'

    15 Celebrities Who Were Banned From Hosting ‘Saturday Night Live!’

    Ad Ranker

Grading the first round of the NBA draft

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NBA

NBA rumors: 4 teams are ‘significant considerations’ for Durant

Sports Illustrated Logo Sports Illustrated NBA

Redskins QB opens up about leg injury, plans to play again

Seven months after suffering a gruesome leg injury, Alex Smith opened up for the first time about his recovery and the hardships he’s faced.

theScore Logo theScore NFL


NBA Draft winners and losers

Yahoo Sports team breaks down the 2019 NBA Draft

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NBA Videos

  • What Consumers Should Know About Their Home Security Cameras

    What Consumers Should Know About Their Home Security Cameras


  • Can You Guess The Animal Just By Seeing Its Nose?

    Can You Guess The Animal Just By Seeing Its Nose?

    Ad Topix

Four reasons Williamson won’t win Rookie of the Year

The New Orleans Pelicans have said they are building their team around Zion Williamson, but that comes with added pressure to perform.


Pitino leaving Greece, seeking return to NBA

Pitino leaving Greece, seeking return to NBA

Reuters Logo Reuters NBA

NHL mock draft: Who goes where?

NHL teams begin restocking their cupboards Friday night with the first round of the draft in Vancouver, British Columbia. Expect to see Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko picked first and second, respectively. After that, the fun begins with plenty of variables coming into play.

Minneapolis Star Tribune Logo Minneapolis Star Tribune NHL

Colts owner spent how much on guitars at auction?

When you’re rich, you can buy what you want. And Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, has done just that.

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NFL

  • Can You Pass This World History Quiz?

    Can You Pass This World History Quiz?

    Ad Topix

Sports Illustrated

Sports IllustratedVisit site

Zion reveals what advice he would like from LeBron

Zion Williamson has more hype surrounding him than any top overall draft pick since LeBron James, and his game has also been frequently compared to LeBron’s. It only makes sense, then, for Williamson to seek advice from the man who is supposed to eventually pass him the NBA torch.

Larry Brown Sports Logo Larry Brown Sports NBA

Ainge denies reports that Irving has ‘ghosted’ Celtics

Amid the hustle and bustle of Thursday night’s NBA draft, Boston Celtics general manager and President of basketball operations Danny Ainge took time to deny reports that Kyrie Irving has “ghosted” the organization after opting out of the final year of his contract. “Kyrie’s been good. He’s returned calls,” Ainge told NBC Sports Boston late Thursday night during a post-draft interview.

Sportress of Blogitude Logo Sportress of Blogitude NBA

Opinion: US must win World Cup or legacy will be celebration flap

The U.S. women’s national team needs to win this year’s World Cup or they’ll only be remembered for their celebration debacle in win over Thailand.



The Day in Sports Photos

The Day in Sports: Thursday, June 20, 2019

imagn Logo imagn More Sports

Theories about why Bol Bol fell so far in the draft

Bol Bol ended up being one of the biggest surprises of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, and that was not a good thing for the Oregon big man. Bol was initially expected to go somewhere near the middle or end of the first round, but he slipped all the way No. 44 overall.

Larry Brown Sports Logo Larry Brown Sports NBA

Gettleman insists Giants have a plan, but what is it?

When you have to express to the media that yes, you actually do have a plan to build your football team, it’s not a good sign for your offseason.

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NFL

Braves announce Keuchel will make debut Friday

About six weeks after signing former AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, the veteran will officially make his Atlanta Braves debut Friday evening.

Sportsnaut Logo Sportsnaut MLB

Raiders rookie pursued as subject of a movie

Raiders first-round pick Josh Jacobs hasn’t taken his first NFL snap yet, but the story of the running back’s rise to the professional ranks has apparently been enough to pique the interest of Hollywood. In an essay for The Players Tribune earlier this year, Jacobs wrote about sleeping in his father’s car and moving from [more]

NBC Sports Logo NBC Sports NFL

Murray flooded with Wimbledon mixed doubles offers after…

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty may have rejected Andy Murray’s request to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon but the Scot has been flooded with offers from players past and present who are willing to join forces with him.

Reuters Logo Reuters Tennis

NHL Draft primer: Hughes vs. Kakko; draft bloodlines

Round 1 coverage begins on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports Logo NBC Sports NHL

Top NBA free agents, teams with most cap space, and more

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of NBA free agency, including the top available players and teams with the most cap space.

Sporting News Logo Sporting News NBA

Six reasons Zion, Pelicans will be NBA’s most exciting show

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will attract plenty of NBA attention as the New Orleans Pelicans’ rebuilding effort takes shape.


Kawhi gets a front row view of Trout’s greatness

NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is caught being a fan as he takes a cell phone video of Angels star Mike Trout in game against Blue Jays.


Barrett becomes Knicks’ latest great hope

For how long?

NBC Sports Logo NBC Sports NBA

Williamson looks worthy of being No. 1 pick

NEW YORK – Sixty names were called Thursday night, names from all over the world. Some were called sooner than expected. Some were called later. And none rang out louder, longer and more impactful than when commissioner Adam Silver said “Zion Williamson.” Over the course of the night, the No. 1 overall pick showed that he’s not too young for the spotlight, that he’s more than hype. He’s heart, …

Los Angeles Times Logo Los Angeles Times NBA

With win vs. Sweden, USWNT puts world on notice

With 2-0 World Cup victory over Sweden that clinched top of Group F and avenged most embarrassing loss in team history, USWNT put everyone on notice.


Winners and losers from 2019 NBA Draft

The 2019 NBA Draft took place Thursday evening in Brooklyn with a whole lot of fanfare. As wide open as the league is right now, the draft itself might have been among the most important in recent history. From the get go, new general manager David Griffin and the Pelicans dominated the landscape. The Atlanta Hawks showed that they might continue being one of the most-entertaining young teams to watch. On the other end of the spectrum, we were…

Sportsnaut Logo Sportsnaut NBA

Durant, Thompson injuries make rookies mindful ahead of career

The catastrophic injuries suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson this month cast a pall over the NBA Finals. The Toronto Raptors had firm control over the series long before Thompson tore his ACL, but the Golden State Warriors’ chances of winning the series essentially ended when Durant hurt his Achilles in Game 5.

RealGM Logo RealGM NBA

NBA Draft: The five best college players who went unselected

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NBA

Blazers’ Lillard drops diss track on Kings’ Bagley

Bagley went on TV and claimed he was the best MC in the league, which Lillard disputed

CBS Sports Logo CBS Sports NBA

No. 2 pick Morant will not play in Summer League

Sports Illustrated Logo Sports Illustrated NBA

Inside the Mets’ stunning decision to fire pitching coach Eiland

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports MLB

See the Indiana mansion Larry Bird just listed for $2.35 million

Larry Bird, who stepped down as Pacers team president in 2017, has listed his Indianapolis home for $2.35 million, reports. After his iconic playing career with the Celtics, Bird headed back to his home state of Indiana. He coached the Pacers for three seasons, which included the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance in 2000. Bird has owned this Indiana house, which measures more than 10,000 square feet, since 2003. Larry Bird’s… Logo NBA

Biggest takeaways from the 2019 NBA draft

The 2019 NBA Draft proved to be a wild affair, with a predictable first three picks giving way to surprises, reaches, potential steals and a whole cavalcade of trades. It was intriguing to watch the strategies at play as things developed, and several franchises made big decisions that will make or break them for years to come. Here are eight big takeaways from the 2019 NBA Draft. 1. Pelicans reshape franchise in one night The New Orleans…

Larry Brown Sports Logo Larry Brown Sports NBA

Giants lose 9-8 after Bumgarner knocked out by Muncy’s Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – The Giants return to Los Angeles in September. Whether Madison Bumgarner is a Yankee by then or a Brave or a Phillie, Giants fans always will remember him as a Giant. Nothing will change that, including a rotten start in what could have been his final Dodger Stadium start in black and orange – no, Bumgarner’s not getting traded to the Orioles. In a much-anticipated series finale Thursday night, Bumgarner scuffled through one of his…

San Francisco Chronicle Logo San Francisco Chronicle MLB

Report: Lakers forgot crucial item in Davis deal

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NBA

The NBA could learn one specific thing from the NFL Draft

No, it’s not moving around the draft to different cities to create an event around the draft. It’s pretty simple what the NBA could do. If anyone watched this year’s draft, it was a trade bonanza. Trades all over the place. Trades for days. It got …

Touchdown Wire Logo Touchdown Wire NFL

Ortiz plot unraveled because of many mistakes

Alberto Rodríguez Mota had one job: taking a photo of the man that his crew of hired killers was supposed to fatally shoot at an outdoor cafe, according to Dominican authorities.

Associated Press Logo Associated Press MLB

Best and worst picks of the first round

The Suns surprised everyone while the Trail Blazers got a steal.

Sporting News Logo Sporting News NBA

Ranking all 18 of USWNT’s record-setting group stage goals

Ranking the USWNT’s 18 goals at the Women’s World Cup.

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports Women’s World Cup

Carroll: ‘Wide open competition’ for Seahawks backup QB job

The Seahawks have had a revolving door of backup quarterbacks behind Russell Wilson for the last several seasons. Once Tarvaris Jackson’s three-year run as Wilson’s backup came to an end following the 2015 season, the Seahawks have had a different backup every year since. That run will continue this fall as either Geno Smith or [more]

NBC Sports Logo NBC Sports NFL

NBA should be embarrassed about all the wrong hats

The NBA needs to fix this.

For The Win Logo For The Win NBA

Cancer survivor mom’s son drafted 1st round

Cancer almost took away her ability to have kids, now former college star Kristi Kinne-Hayes can watch her son, No. 8 pick Jaxson Hayes, in the NBA.


Watch: Yelich blasts his hardest, longest homer ever on Statcast

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is looking to repeat as NL MVP this season, and on Thursday night, he added to that case by recording his 28th homer of the season.

12up Logo 12up MLB


Look who’s watching

Because everyone loves going to the game, even celebrities and other athletes!

Yardbarker Logo Yardbarker More Sports

Pujols gives jersey to young fan with Down syndrome

Sports Illustrated Logo Sports Illustrated MLB

Celtics reportedly trade Baynes, draft pick to Suns for 2020 pick

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NBA

Kraft wins Genesis Prize in Israel

The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, accepted Israel’s prestigious Genesis Prize at a lavish ceremony on Thursday, where he pledged $20 million to establish…

Associated Press Logo Associated Press NFL

  • 5 Things You’ll Regret Not Doing Sooner To Cut Expenses

    Ad ConsumersTricks

WWC: 5 teams that could stand in way of US title hopes

France has been the second-strongest team at the World Cup, and it could meet the Americans in the quarterfinals.


UCLA’s O’Neal ‘could’ve died’ from heart defect, mom says

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports NCAA BK


2019 NBA Draft: The Top Picks

2019 NBA Draft: The Top Picks

imagn Logo imagn NBA

U.S. tops World Cup group with win over rival Sweden

They scored 18. Conceded zero. Wowed millions. Disappointed very few. The U.S. women are moving on to the knockout rounds of the 2019 World Cup after 270 minutes of soccer that were nearly flawless.

Yahoo! Sports Logo Yahoo! Sports Women’s World Cup


It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page