Women's World Cup Power Rankings After the Third Round of Group Games

Richard LavertyContributor IJune 21, 2019

LE HAVRE, FRANCE - JUNE 20: Tobin Heath of United States (L) celebrating her goal with her teammates during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between Sweden and USA at  on June 20, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images)
Marcio Machado/Getty Images

The third and final round of group games at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup is in the books, and 24 has become 16 after eight sides were eliminated.

With the tournament now at the knockout stage, who has moved up and who has moved down since the previous set of fixtures, and who has impressed after the group stage?

     

24. Thailand (Stay)

Thailand scoring against Sweden was their moment of the tournament, even in a heavy 5-1 defeat.

They then held a spirited Chile side for some time, but in the end, they went down fighting in a 2-0 defeat as both sides were eliminated.

GRENOBLE, FRANCE - JUNE 18: Fans of Australia during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group C match between Jamaica and Australia at Stade des Alpes on June 18, 2019 in Grenoble, France. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

      

23. Jamaica (Stay)

For all the promise an exciting young Jamaica showed before the tournament, it never quite happened on the big stage.

Some calamitous defending and goalkeeping ensured they went out with a whimper against Australia in a 4-1 defeat, but Havana Solaun's goal gives them a positive memory to go home with.

22. South Africa (-2)

Desiree Ellis' debutants showed so much in their opening game against Spain but were never able to build on it in a tough Group B.

They were outclassed by Germany in a 4-0 loss, and Banyana Banyana ended the tournament with zero points. However, there's a decent foundation to build on for the future.

     

21. New Zealand (-5)

Tom Sermanni's side raised eyebrows when they beat England before the tournament, but in the end, that was as good as it got.

They could have qualified for the knockout stages with a win in their last group game, but they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Cameroon, which means it's an early flight back to Oceania with some work to do.

     

20. South Korea (-1)

South Korea never really recovered from their 4-0 opening-night loss to France. They showed flashes of what they're capable of in a 2-1 defeat against Norway, including a superb backheel assist for their only goal of the tournament, but it will be back to the drawing board after a disappointing World Cup overall.

     

19. Chile (+2)

Chile gave it absolutely everything and could barely have come closer to taking the final spot in the last 16 off Nigeria.

They left it late to move into a 2-0 lead against Thailand, but they still needed a third when an 86th-minute penalty crashed against the crossbar.

It means elimination for Chile but some spirited performances should be a positive for their future.

     

18. Scotland (-3)

Surely no team could go closer to qualifying than Chile? Well, Scotland managed it.

With 15 minutes to go against Argentina, Shelley Kerr's side led 3-0, but they somehow threw everything away.

The equalising goal came from a retaken penalty in the last minute, after Lee Alexander saved the initial effort but was penalised for coming off her line.

It means Scotland are going home when it should never have been the case. With some of the players they have, it feels like a big missed opportunity.

     

17. Argentina (+1)

The South American side have been the feelgood story of the tournament. Their opening-game draw against Japan surprised everyone, and their stubborn defence against England nearly yielded more success.

Their comeback from 3-0 down to draw against Scotland showed what they can do, but sadly, it wasn't enough to progress.

    

16. Cameroon (+6)

After two defeats in a row, Cameroon surprised everyone by beating New Zealand with a dramatic last-gasp winner to seal progression.

After their performance against European champions the Netherlands, should we be surprised?

Their "no fear" football is exciting to watch, and now they face another tough test in Phil Neville's England for a place in the quarter-finals.

     

15. Nigeria (+2)

Nigeria were made to wait 72 hours to see if they'd have a place in the last 16 after losing 1-0 to France on Monday night. A match against Germany is their reward.

They'll have to improve in order to continue in the competition, but their performance against France should give them some optimism. 

        

14. China (Stay)

Once again, China went about their business quietly in a low-key 0-0 draw with Spain, but it meant they ended the group stages having conceded just one goal.

They face Italy in the next round, and while Milena Bertolini's side have impressed, China will believe it could have been much worse. They'll need to be sharper and more clinical at the other end of the field. 

    

13. Spain (-1)

Spain will leave the group stages with a huge sense of "what if?"

They laboured to victory in their opener against South Africa and then failed to find the net in their next two games, culminating in an underwhelming 0-0 draw with China.

Their reward is a second-round tie against holders USA, and that in itself ensures Spain's chances of progression look slim.

      

12. Brazil (+1)

Given their form coming into the tournament, Brazil have potentially been the surprise package. Had it not been for a capitulation in their second game, they could have ended Group C on maximum points after their 1-0 victory against a good Italy side.

Hosts France in the next round means it couldn't have been much harder, but Les Bleues coach Corinne Diacre will not be taking Brazil lightly on this occasion.

     

11. Italy (-1)

Italy have impressed by just qualifying in the style they did, and a defeat to Brazil via a penalty won't be a huge concern, especially given they still won Group C.

They look solid enough at the back and have some quality up top, and a match against China gives them every chance of going as far as the quarter-finals.

     

10. Norway (-1)

Norway enjoyed a stroll in the park against South Korea for lengthy periods but had to rely on two penalties to get past them with a 2-1 victory.

They were on the ropes at the end of the match and lost Caroline Graham Hansen to injury, and her absence could be the biggest dent of all in their hopes to go far.

Australia lay in wait next in what ahould be one of the more mouthwatering second-round ties. 

      

9. Australia (+2)

Australia needed to bounce back after their opening-round defeat to Italy, and they certainly did what was needed.

Their 3-2 comeback win against Brazil was followed up by a 4-1 demolition of Jamaica, with star striker Sam Kerr signalling her intent to be rated the world's best with a four-goal haul to help see Australia through safely in second place.

Defensive concerns still linger, but they have enough quality to cause any team issues.

     

8. Sweden (Stay)

Sweden's path to the second round largely went as expected. They beat Thailand and Chile before they faced champions and old rivals USA in their final group game.

With both sides facing a tricky route through to the final, Peter Gerhardsson made several changes in order to rest players, and in the end, he won't have been too disappointed with a 2-0 defeat.

Sweden still look to be lacking something, but they still have an outside chance of success.

      

7. Japan (Stay)

Japan's tournament so far was summed up rather well in their defeat to England, which has left them facing European champions the Netherlands in the second round.

They controlled possession for large parts, but a combination of wastefulness in front of goal and a couple of lapses in concentration at the back saw them come out on the wrong side of a 2-0 score, which didn't necessarily reflect the game.

Japan have the technical ability to go far, but they need to remember where the net is.

     

6. Canada (-2)

Canada were another big team at risk of dropping into second spot when they faced Netherlands in the final Group E encounter, and they did just that after a 2-1 defeat. 

A matchup in the last 16 against Sweden isn't all bad, but Canada didn't look their usual solid selves at the back as the Netherlands created plenty of chances across the 90 minutes.

In the end, goals from Anouk Dekker and Lineth Beerensteyn sealed it, but Christine Sinclair did move herself one step closer to Abby Wambach's all-time international goalscoring record (184) with her 182nd goal.

      

5. England (+1)

England move up a spot after ending a tricky group with maximum points.

It feels like they've yet to full click into top gear in this tournament, and at times against Japan, their passing from the back was as sloppy as we've seen. But in Ellen White, they have a striker in form, and the defence coped relatively well with Japan's movement.

If things fall into place, England have a decent run to the semi-finals and find themselves right in the running.   

                           

4. Netherlands (+1)

Like England, it seems we haven't quite seen the best of the European champions despite them also ending their group with maximum points.

No team this year has scored more than one goal against Canada, and the impact off the bench from the likes of Lineth Beerensteyn and Jill Roord shows Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman has depth.

Lieke Martens and one or two others haven't quite clicked yet, and if they do, their side will be a tough opposition to stop.

      

3. France (-1)

The hosts would have been looking to bounce back from what was at times a sloppy performance against Norway, and they didn't quite manage it against Nigeria.

Diacre left out Eugenie Le Sommer, and without her, France looked like they could have played all night and not put the ball in the back of the net.

In the end, it was more VAR controversy that sealed the win and nine points out of nine, but France have things to work on.         

                                              

2. Germany (+1)

Germany went about their business quietly and understatedly in Group C. Two 1-0 wins were followed by a much more convincing 4-0 win in their final game against South Africa.

The sign of any good side is its ability to keep clean sheets, and the Germans are yet to concede so far after three games.

Once more, there's another gear or two to find yet, but they'll be happy to see all the focus on France and the USA in the other side of the draw.

      

1. USA (Stay)

The USA remain top of the class after completing a clean sweep, but they've still yet to be fully tested in defence of their title.

Wins against Thailand and Chile were a requirement, and while Sweden had the potential to be tricky, the team selection of their opponents made life a little more comfortable for coach Jill Ellis and her team.

Either way, the USA look strong, confident and are scoring regularly, but they need a good test soon, and that starts with Spain in the second round.

Related

    ‘The Champions’ Episode 2 🌟

    Everybody hates Liverpool’s ‘insufferable’ Champions League party 🤬

    World Football logo
    World Football

    ‘The Champions’ Episode 2 🌟

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Ranking the Ballon d'Or Nominees 🍿

    B/R’s Sam Tighe names his winner

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ranking the Ballon d'Or Nominees 🍿

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Is Your Pick for Ballon d'Or?

    Tap to vote

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Who Is Your Pick for Ballon d'Or?

    Straw Poll
    via Straw Poll

    Arsenal Lose at Sheff Utd

    Gunners miss chance to go into top four; Blades move up to ninth

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Arsenal Lose at Sheff Utd

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report