Women’s World Cup Power Rankings After the Second Round of Group Games | Bleacher Report
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The second round of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup games is complete. Who has moved up and who has moved down since our pre-tournament rankings? And what’s the movement looked like since the end of the first round of games?
24. Thailand (Stay)
Thailand needed to bounce back after their humbling 13-0 defeat to the USA, and they did themselves no disservice against a strong Sweden side. They held the game at 3-0 for the majority and actually created several good chances on the break, culminating in an emotional moment as they finally found the net towards the end of the game, eventually losing 5-1.
23. Jamaica (-1)
There was a lot of excitement surrounding Jamaica coming into the tournament, largely because of Khadija Shaw, but any hope of progress is all but gone after a 5-0 hammering against a very impressive Italy side. They were a little unlucky to have a saved penalty retaken, but Italy outclassed them on the day as Brazil did in Round 1.
22. Cameroon (+1)
Cameroon’s chances of moving into the next round look slim after a second consecutive defeat, but they also dispelled the theory they’re here to make up the numbers against European champions Netherlands. They scared them enough to level the scores at 1-1, and while they eventually went down 3-1, they played some eye-catching football at times.
21. Chile (Stay)
It was always going to be difficult for Chile to respond to their narrow defeat against Sweden when coming up against the world champions USA. Despite some heroics from goalkeeper Christiane Endler, a 3-0 defeat means Chile are fighting for their lives for a knockout-round spot with goal difference set to play a major part in deciding who goes through.
20. South Africa (-1)
With a game against Germany to come, things don’t look good for debutants South Africa. A positive performance against Spain made many believe there was a chance of a good result against China, but one goal separated the teams and it went against Banyana Banyana. They now need a miracle to make it to the knockout round.
19. South Korea (-1)
Losing to hosts France in the opener was understandable given the opposition’s extra quality and the occasion, but South Korea are surely disappointed with the lack of clear-cut chances they created and generosity in defence in a 2-0 defeat to Nigeria. A win against Norway would put them in the mix, but that looks a tall order right now.
18. Argentina (-1)
Coming off a gutsy and determined performance against Japan that earned them their first World Cup point, Argentina followed with another stubborn performance against England. Vanina Correa’s exploits in goal undoubtedly kept the score down, and a narrow 1-0 defeat means they still have a chance of progressing if they can beat Scotland.
17. Nigeria (+3)
Thomas Dennerby’s Nigeria side have given themselves every chance of progressing to the next round after a well-earned 2-0 win against South Korea. There’s plenty of promise in the team, best illustrated by Asisat Oshoala’s neat goal, but a final game against hosts France still means it’s going to be difficult for the African champions to progress.
16. New Zealand (-1)
Their 1-0 win over England pre-tournament likely gave New Zealand reason to believe coming to France, but two defeats in a row now means they are relying on one of the best third-place spots. To do that, they need to beat a lively Cameroon side in the final match. They lacked a cutting edge against a solid Canada side and were undone at the other end. Tom Sermanni and his players need a big final performance to continue their journey.
15. Scotland (-1)
Scotland’s second match against Japan largely followed the same pattern as their opener against England. Two goals down before a late goal gave them little time to realistically get back into the match. There was a lot of hype surrounding Shelley Kerr’s team pre-tournament, but they now need to beat a solid Argentina side just to have a chance of progression, with a top-two spot already out of reach.
14. China (+2)
China have quietly gone about their business in this tournament. Nobody gave them much of a mention pre-tournament, with Japan considered the strongest Asian team. However, a narrow 1-0 defeat to Germany was followed up by a 1-0 win against South Africa, which has shown they have quality. They now have every chance of progression and next play Spain, who also have three points.
13. Brazil (Stay)
Brazil came into the tournament in terrible form, but a victory against Jamaica in their opener looked to be the beginning of a turnaround. When they took a 2-0 lead against an Australia side who had lost their first game, it looked like Group C was being turned on its head, but a dramatic turnaround saw the Aussies win 3-2 and has now left Brazil requiring a good performance against a strong Italy side to ensure progression.
12. Spain (-2)
After coming from behind to avoid a scare against South Africa and win their opener 3-1, Spain looked lively at times against Germany in their second game but fell into their own common trap. They were once again wasteful in front of goal and errors cost them, allowing Germany to walk away with the points and a 1-0 win. It was a big chance for the Spanish to put themselves top of the group, but instead they now face a tough game against China just to ensure progression to the next round.
11. Australia (+1)
After a surprise defeat to Italy in their opener, things looked more than perilous for an Australia side many fancied, as they went 2-0 down against Brazil. But a dramatic and controversial turnaround to win 3-2 has kept them right in it, and they’ve given themselves a great chance to go through with a final game against debutants Jamaica.
10. Italy (+1)
Italy continue to impress as a team few people were mentioning pre-tournament. If they weren’t being taken seriously after beating Australia, a 5-0 hammering of Jamaica has already secured them a spot in the knockouts, and they appear to one of the most improved teams at the tournament already. They look solid at the back and have plenty of goals up front. They could continue to surprise a lot of people.
9. Norway (Stay)
Norway couldn’t match their performance or their result from the Nigeria match against France, but they did enough to worry the hosts and ensure the rest of the tournament will take them seriously. Their pressure forced Wendie Renard into an error that levelled the tie at 1-1, and only a disputable penalty decision was the difference between the two sides.
8. Sweden (-1)
Sweden were expected to come out flying against a Thailand side that lost 13-0 to the USA, and while the Swedes did score after just six minutes, they were often frustrated by the much-improved Thais. A 5-1 win in the end saw them through, but they did give up chances on the break and allow a goal to go in before the end, something which will need to be worked on if they’re to go far in France.
7. Japan (+1)
After a less than inspiring performance against Argentina in the opening round, Japan clicked back into gear against Scotland. At times, they showed the quality we’re accustomed to seeing. And while they still look suspect at the back, it was a brief warning shot to the rest of the world not to rule them out just yet, even if their eyes are more focused on next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
6. England (Stay)
England once again squeezed over the line, but for a second game in a row their lack of a cutting edge in front of goal almost cost them against Argentina. A missed penalty and a string of top saves from Vanina Correa meant just the one goal separated the sides. Two wins, six points and qualification for Phil Neville’s side, but you feel they still need to find another gear if they are to challenge.
5. Netherlands (Stay)
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Sarina Wiegman’s European champions still look less than settled in defence, but they clicked going forward as Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema scored twice against Cameroon to become her nation’s all-time top scorer. There were moments of quality that reminded everyone of why they won Euro 2017, but it still feels like there’s a little bit of work to do to mount a serious challenge.
4. Canada (Stay)
Canada continue to go about their business quietly but professionally. Given their defensive record in 2019, it’s no surprise they’ve not conceded at the tournament. New Zealand was a potential banana skin, but a healthy 2-0 win and a good performance—where they never looked hugely under threat—keeps Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s side very much in the running.
3. Germany (Stay)
Two 1-0 victories leaves a feeling that Germany haven’t quite clicked yet, but the fact they haven’t and are still winning without conceding is ominous for everyone else. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had to make do without Dzsenifer Marozsan through injury, and like in their opener against China, they gave up chances against Spain. However, they did enough in the end to win the game. With just a game against South Africa to come, they look good to progress as group winners.
2. France (Stay)
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The hosts were always going to struggle to live up to their opening night performance, especially against a very good Norway side with some terrific players. They did enough to win the game through a disputed penalty in the second half, and it probably would have been more comfortable had it not been for a rare moment of calamity from the usually solid Wendie Renard. France still look good for a challenge to win the trophy but can’t get too ahead of themselves.
1. USA (Stay)
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After their historic 13-0 victory against Thailand in the opening round, Jill Ellis showed just how strong her squad is by making seven changes against Chile while still running out comfortable winners. The USA were 3-0 up before the break and it could—and should—have been a lot more had it not been for PSG goalkeeper Christiane Endler. While all the focus was on hosts France pre-tournament, it’s the champions who have laid down the early markers.