For three teams on Sunday, the dream will continue. For three teams, the dream will die. It's win or go home at the Women's World Cup in Canada, as the knockout phase is in full swing.
Below, we'll take a look at the day's results and break down each match.
|Sunday World Cup Results|
Australia Stuns Brazil, 1-0
In a shocking result on Sunday, the Australians knocked the Brazilians out of this year's World Cup, beating the soccer powerhouse, 1-0.
Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams were the heroes on the day, as Simon's 80th-minute goal and Williams' six saves were the difference in the contest. But the Australians also played resolute, team defense to keep the explosive Brazilians off the board.
Craig Foster of the Sun Herald felt Australia's performance was simply superb:
Brazil certainly did everything in their power to break down that defense. The Brazilians outshot Australia 14-10 (6-2 on goal) and held 54 percent of possession, though the Aussies did earn more corners (7-6).
In the 79th minute, it looked as though Brazil would have the go-ahead goal, as Formiga hit the post with a header off a corner. But the bar was cruel, and a minute later, the Australians made Brazil pay.
After a turnover, Katrina Gorry played a lovely through ball to Lisa De Vanna, who couldn't beat Luciana with her curling effort. Luciana spilled the rebound, though, and Simon was there to bury her shot into the back of the net.
"Thankfully I was in the right place at the right time, and the keeper fumbled it and I knocked it in," Simon said after the match, via Fox Sports 1's coverage.
It was a goal that was coming, per Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated:
For Brazil, the result is devastating, namely because it could be Marta's final World Cup match. For all of her accomplishments, she has never won a World Cup with Brazil, the one blight on an otherwise spotless resume.
Wahl wondered if this loss, along with Marta's performance, might not impact her standing as the world's best player:
The Australians now await the winner of the Japan-Netherlands match. While the Australians would never admit they were rooting for one team or another, the Japanese would represent a far stiffer challenge. Japan has looked as technically sound as any team in this tournament thus far, playing solid defense and maintaining excellent possession throughout.
Australia would certainly give the Japanese a match—and given their performance against Brazil, could knock off the Japanese—but the team would be the definite favorites against the Dutch.
Regardless, however, the team's confidence is surely sky-high after knocking Marta and company out of this tournament. The Australians won't be exiting Canada without a fight; that much is certain.
France Cruise in 3-0 Victory over South Korea
After eight minutes, France were up 2-0, and South Korea were all but eliminated. A 48th-minute goal from Marie-Laure Delie, her second of the match, gave the French a 3-0 lead, and that was the final score as Les Bleues punched their ticket to the quarterfinals.
Delie put France ahead 1-0 in the fourth minute, and Elodie Thomis promptly followed up four minutes later to double the advantage.
Delie's goal is worth highlighting considering the beautiful team play involved in the buildup. France cut the South Korean defense apart in the 18-yard box with tremendous passing. By the time the Paris Saint-Germain forward received the ball, she had a rather simple finish.
French football expert Andrew Gibney questioned why Delie didn't get a start earlier in the tournament as Sunday's performance was a mere continuation of her work in the group stage:
France are one of the strongest teams in the Women's World Cup, but you can argue they were a bit underwhelming in their group-stage matches. They only beat England 1-0 and lost to Colombia before thrashing a good-but-not-great Mexico side.
This might be the first time the French really looked their best. They had 62 percent possession and limited South Korea to just three shots on target.
That quarterfinal between Germany and France can't come soon enough.
Canada Advance on Strength of Josee Belanger Goal
Canada have scored a total of three goals through four matches at the Women's World Cup, but they're still going through the quarterfinals. Soccer can be a funny game sometimes.
After a scoreless first half, Josee Belanger provided the breakthrough for the hosts in the 52nd minute.
Belanger originally failed to get on the end of a cross into the box from Christine Sinclair. Switzerland failed to properly clear the ball, so Canada retained possession. Rhian Wilkinson delivered a somewhat hopeful ball back into the box, and it eventually fell to the feet of Sinclair and bounced to Belanger, who calmly finished.
The goal snapped quite the drought for the 29-year-old, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Sunday wasn't the most inspiring of performances for Canada, but they advanced nonetheless.
Now, they move on to the quarterfinals, which is already the furthest they've reached since finishing fourth in 2003. Writing for espnW, Paul Carr and Jonathan Costa presented some statistics that may signal trouble for Canada, however:
Another potential warning sign for Canada? They're just the fourth team to reach the quarterfinals despite scoring three goals or fewer. The previous three were all shut out in their quarterfinal match and eliminated. The last team to do so was China in 2003, which was eliminated in the quarterfinals ... by Canada.
The Canadians will play the winner of England vs. Norway in the next round.