The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup round-of-16 lineup took shape on Thursday, when the United States beat Sweden 2-0 to win Group F and book a knockout fixture with Group C runners-up Spain.
The Netherlands sealed first place in Group E with a perfect record by defeating Canada 2-1, while Cameroon grabbed a last-second 2-1 win over New Zealand to qualify for the last 16.
Norway and Australia will meet after finishing second in Group A and Group C, respectively. Canada and Sweden took second in Group E and Group F to set up a fixture at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Monday.
Here's how the round-of-16 bracket looks:
As the name suggests, the beginning of the knockout stage means the World Cup switches to elimination football. Teams are permitted to make a fourth substitution if their game goes to extra time, after which the matches go to penalties should games remain level.
Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Decines-Charpieu is the only one of the nine tournament venues that won't be used for the round of 16, though it will host both semi-finals and the final on July 7.
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Saturday, June 22
Germany vs. Nigeria, 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET, BBC Two (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
Norway vs. Australia, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, BBC One (UK), Fox (U.S.)
Sunday, June 23
England vs. Cameroon, 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET, BBC Two (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
France vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, BBC red button (UK), Fox (U.S.)
Monday, June 24
Spain vs. United States, 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET, BBC Two (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
Sweden vs. Canada, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, BBC red button (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
Tuesday, June 25
Italy vs. China, 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET, BBC Two (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
Netherlands vs. Japan, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, BBC red button (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
Updated Tournament Odds
United States: 7-4
The United States keep their place as favourites to win back-to-back World Cup titles for the first time in their history, and there's little reason to think Spain have much chance of stopping their run.
La Roja opened the tournament by beating South Africa 3-1 but then failed to score against Germany (1-0) or China (0-0), and that record won't intimidate Jill Ellis' world champions.
Nevertheless, former United States goalkeeper Hope Solo recently told Optus Sports that she felt the competition front-runners had deeper-lying issues in need of addressing:
Optus Sport @OptusSport
"... winning that 2015 #FIFAWWC... we weren’t able to really see the problems and address the issues we needed to address. "The win overshadowed so many of the coaching inadequacies." @hopesolo explains her comments on #USA coach Jill Ellis. #OptusSport https://t.co/vfYVHKMkez
Sweden were the first top-level opponent the U.S. faced at this World Cup, and though there were moments of doubt—in the second half particularly—they came through the challenge with flying colours.
Sports writer Kim McCauley pointed to possible evidence some United States players have also shown concern with Ellis' tactics:
The Stars and Stripes shouldn't suffer much on their path to the quarters, although the same can't be said for hosts France as they prepare for the threat of Brazil.
The Selecao may not hold the same renown as their male counterparts and have never won the World Cup, but this fixture promises to be a feast of elite-level football, as journalist Nic Gulas noted:
Brazil lost to Australia but made up for that with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Italy. They may not have the assured base at the back to progress to the quarter-finals, but Les Bleues' defence is also certain to be tested.
The Netherlands have a host of promising players among their squad, and despite this being just their second World Cup appearance, they are already reaching new heights in France, as OptaJohan highlighted:
Last-16 opponents Japan have made it to each of the past two World Cup finals and came second to England in Group D, but the Oranje look ready to prove they are now among the elite of women's football.
Predicted Last Eight: Germany, Australia, England, France, the U.S., Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.