The 2023 edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup has now entered its knockout stages following another round of dramatic fixtures. While some groups were pretty much determined, others were still to be decided as the players took to the field in their country’s third game.
Eight Everton Women stars made the trip to the World Cup, co-hosted this year by Australia and New Zealand, but who will be advancing to the knockout rounds and who will be saying goodbye to the world stage?
Let’s find out:
Courtney Brosnan may well have known her fate before the Republic of Ireland faced Nigeria, but that didn’t stop her making arguably the save of the tournament so far when the Girls in Green faced the Super Falcons.
The Blues’ stopper ensured her team claimed a point when she pushed Uchenna Kanu’s powerful header on to the crossbar with a stunning save, as Ireland’s World Cup adventure ended with a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
Clare Wheeler will get at least one more chance to grace the field in her home country, as Australia gained qualification with a 4-0 thrashing of Canada.
The Everton midfielder was again an unused sub as a Hayley Raso double, along with a Mary Fowler goal and a late Steph Catley penalty set up a Round of 16 showdown with Denmark and avoided the Matildas following their co-hosts New Zealand out of the competition at the group stage.
Delight for Denmark
Everton trio Katrine Veje, Karen Holmgaard and Nicoline Sorensen will all be in the knockout stages after Denmark completed a comfortable win over Haiti.
Pernille Harder scored from the spot after Dayana Pierre-Louis’ handball, while Sanne Troelsgaard sealed the Danes’ progression to the last 16 with a second goal deep into injury time.
The Blues’ three all started the game, and will be looking forward to facing Wheeler’s Australia for a place in the World Cup Quarter Finals.
Vietnam victims of Dutch destruction
Katja Snoeijs scored her first goal in this year’s tournament - her country’s second of the game - as the Netherlands hit Vietnam for seven without reply.
The Toffees’ striker, found herself unmarked on the edge of the area and made no mistake with a composed left-footed finish against the already eliminated Asian outfit, in what is the biggest win of the tournament so far.
With USA only drawing against Portugal, the emphatic victory gave Andries Jonker’s side top spot in Group E and sets up an intriguing fixture with South Africa on Sunday.
Sweden set for American challenge
Goals from Rebecka Blomqvist and Elin Rubensson ensured that Sweden topped Group G with three wins from three after Peter Gerhardsson’s defeated South Africa.
With qualification all but guaranteed thanks to a superior goal difference, Hanna Bennison was given her a start while Everton teammate Nathalie Bjorn sat this one out.
The changes only served to prove how strong Sweden are in this competition, but the Europeans will need to be a their very best if they are to get past world champions USWNT, and advance to the last eight.