Olympic women: How things stand (and the USA's nightmare scenario)

Sweden and Great Britain are the first teams through to the quarterfinals in the women's soccer tournament at the Olympics.

The USA moved into second place in Group G ahead of Australia with a 6-1 win over New Zealand in Saturday's final game. It closes out group play on Tuesday against the Matildas.

The USA has not yet clinched a berth in the quarterfinals, but the women's soccer tournament is very forgiving, advancing eight of 12 teams to the quarterfinals and two of the three third-place teams.

The USA will advance with a win or draw against Australia. If it loses to the Matildas and finishes third in the group, it will have to await the results of the other two groups played later on Tuesday.

The only scenario by which the USA finishes third and doesn't advance:

-- USA loses to Australia; AND
-- Host Japan beats Chile (expected); AND
-- China beats the Netherlands OR Zambia beats Brazil (longshot but not impossible).


4.92. Average goals per game over first two matchdays. The 2016 tournament averaged just 2.54 per match.

Women's soccer:
Group E: Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile
Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands
Group G: Sweden, USA, Australia, New Zealand

Matchday 1
Wednesday, July 21
Group E Great Britain 2 Chile 0. (Goals: White 18, 73.)
Japan 1 Canada 1. (Goals: Iwabuchi  84; Sinclair  6.)
Group F Brazil 5 China 0. (Goals: Marta  9, 74, Debinha  22, Andressa pen. 82, Beatriz  89.)
Netherlands 10 Zambia 3. (Goals: Miedema  9, 15, 29, 59, Martens 14, 38, Van de Sanden  44, Roord  64, Beerensteyn  75, Pelova  80; Banda 19, 82, 83.)
Group G Sweden 3 USA 0. (Goals: Blackstenius 25, 54, Hurtig 72.)
Australia 2 New Zealand 1. (Goals: Yallop  20, Kerr  33; Rennie  90+1.)

Matchday 2
Saturday, July 24
Group E Canada 2 Chile 1. (Goals: Beckie 39, 47; Araya pen. 57.)
Japan 0 Great Britain 1. (Goal: White 74.)
Group E China 4 Zambia 4. (Goals: Wang Shuang 6, 22, 23, pen. 84; Kundananji 15, Banda pen. 43, 46, 69.)
Netherlands 3 Brazil 3. (Goals: Miedema 3, 59, Janssen 79; Debinha 17, Marta pen. 64, Ludmila 68.)
Group G Sweden 4 Australia 2. (Goals: Rolfo 20, 63, Hurtig 52, Blackstenius 82; Kerr 36, 48.)
USA 6 New Zealand 1. (Goals: Lavelle 9, Horan 45, own goals 63, 90+3, Press 80, Morgan 88; Hassett 72.)

Group E Standings:
1. *Great Britain, 6 (3-0)
2. Canada, 4 (3-2)
3. Japan, 1 (1-2)
4. Chile, 0 (1-4)

Group F Standings:
1. Netherlands, 4 (13-6)
2. Brazil, 4 (8-3)
3. China, 1 (4-9)
4. Zambia, 1 (7-14)

Group G Standings:
1. *Sweden, 6 (7-2)
2. USA, 3 (6-4)
3. Australia, 3 (4-5)
4. New Zealand, 0 (2-8)
*Advance to quarterfinals.

Matchday 3
Tuesday, July 27
USA vs. Australia (Kashima) 4 am. ET
New Zealand vs. Sweden (Miyagi) 4 am. ET
Canada vs. Great Britain (Kashima) 7 am. ET
Chile vs. Japan (Miyagi) 7 am. ET
Netherlands vs. China (Yokohama) 7:30 am. ET
Brazil vs. Zambia (Saitama) 7:30 am. ET

Friday, July 30
2E vs. 2F (Miyagi) 4 am. ET
1E vs. 3F or 3G (Kashima) 5 am. ET
1G vs. 3E or 3F (Saitama) 6 am. ET
1F vs. 2G (Yokohama) 7 am. ET

Monday, August 2
1F/2G vs. 2E/2F (Kashima) 4 am. ET
1E/3F/3G vs. 1E/3F/3G (Yokohama) 7 am. ET

Bronze-medal game
Thursday, August 5
(Kashima) 4 am. ET

Gold-medal game
Thursday, August 5 (Friday kickoff in Japan)
(Tokyo) 10 p.m. ET
8 comments about "Olympic women: How things stand (and the USA's nightmare scenario)".
  1. Wayne Norris, July 24, 2021 at 10:12 a.m.

    Nothing changes since start of tourney......USWNT still has their hands out trying to bankrupt US Soccer.....bleeding them dry.....

  2. Santiago 1314, July 24, 2021 at 11:57 a.m.

    Looked like same team we saw against Mexico, Jamaica... etc... Gonna be tough in next round...
    what are the Possibilities.?.??

  3. Santiago 1314, July 24, 2021 at 12:02 p.m.

    Might be better to finish 3G ... No Brazil or Nederland... Great Britain or Canada instead

  4. Santiago 1314, July 24, 2021 at 12:09 p.m.

    Publicity Stunt... Just like releasing a Movie against your Bosses, In the middle of The Olympics.!!!... Good Lawyering, For a Settlement, Cause the Case is Burned Down....
    But; If you Crash Out, It Won't go well in the Media ... We Shouldn't Pay LOSERS.!!!
    That's Good Motivation right there... Hope they go to Men's Bonus Structure

  5. Rick Wolfen, July 24, 2021 at 6:04 p.m.

    Eraning a medal is going to be challenging no matter what.

    Can't tell much against New Zealand - like hitting against 60 mph pitching

    How will our older legs hold up across 7 gmaes in just over two weeks?

    How hungry is the USWNT?  (see Sweden for a team on a mission)

    A sea change is coming to this team after this tournament - time to get the younger kids in as much as possible now - we will need them in this tournment and beyond.

    My two cents - just not feeling the passion and focus that it takes to win a tournament like this - hope I am wrong and we rally off this easy game today/

  6. R2 Dad, July 25, 2021 at 12:34 p.m.

    If you're Vltako, and you can see your team is missing "something", what do you do? Change the personnel/formation at the kickoff, or are you reactive and wait until the half? Or do you stick to the plan you've used despite it not working? If he wants to continue in this tournament, he's gotta put on his big boy pants and make some unpopular decisions in the dressing room. Can he do it?

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, July 25, 2021 at 4:43 p.m.

    R2, I just don't think there is Anyone "In The Dressing Room" that can make any "Impact" on Changing the "Play" of this Team... I'm not sure we have any one Outside the Locker Room that could Help us... Looking like MNT... Train Wreck. !!!

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, July 26, 2021 at 1:33 a.m.

    I have a lot more faith in the players than I do the coach.

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