After Group E, Cameroon (#46) became the latest team to advance to the knockout stage, and also the lowest ranking team to do so. Argentina and New Zealand were eliminated. That means that there is 1 spot remaining, and it goes to either Chile, Thailand, or (most likely) Nigeria, depending on the results of the Chile/Thailand match. (In total, 15 teams advanced, 6 were eliminated, and 3 still have a chance.)
There are still 5 matches yet to be settled: Spain plays either the United States or Sweden, depending on the results of their game, with the other team playing Canada, and the other three matches change depending on which team get the last spot. Specifically, if Nigeria advances, they play Germany, Brazil plays France, and Cameroon plays England. Otherwise, either Chile or Thailand advance and that team plays England, Brazil plays Germany, and Cameroon plays France.
The United States and Sweden had already advanced, and they were playing for first place in the group. The United States would earn the top position with a win or draw, while Sweden needed a win to take that place. Chile and Thailand both needed a victory for any possibility of making the knockout stage. A draw would eliminate both teams immediately, as would failing to win by enough goals; Chile, who have never scored a World Cup goal, must win by 3 goals to advance, while Thailand must win by 15 goals.
- United States 2
- Sweden 0
Stade Océane, Le Havre: The United States got off to a very early start when Lindsey Horan scored a goal in the 3rd minute, the earliest goal scored in this World Cup so far. They continued to have the upper hand over Sweden, who nevertheless had one good scoring opportunity, but failed to score again in the first half. The second half started similarly, albeit not quite as quickly, when Tobin Heath scored in the 50th minute on a nice chip shot from a shallow angle, a goal that was later reassigned as an own goal by Jonna Andersson of Sweden. There were opportunities for both teams throughout the rest of match (including an inexplicable 7 minutes of stoppage time), but the score remained the same, leaving the United States at the top of the group, with Sweden in second, and giving the US team the World Cup record for most goals scored in the group stage (18).
- Chile 2
- Thailand 0
Roazhon Park, Rennes: As with the earlier elimination game, Chile and Thailand played to a scoreless tie at halftime, which did not bode well for advancement by either team. Early in the second half, Chile benefited from an own goal by Waraporn Boonsing, the goalkeeper for Thailand, in the 48th minute, when Yanara Aedo had a nice shot that ricocheted off the inside of the left post into the back of the keeper’s foot. In the 80th minute María José Urrutia made a well-placed header to score a second goal for Chile, putting them within a single goal of advancing. Just a couple of minutes later, she was fouled by the goalkeeper in the box, giving Chile a penalty kick, but that was taken and missed in the 86th minute, leaving them one goal shy. Despite the domination of Chile over Thailand in this game, as well their first World Cup goal and first World Cup win, 7 minutes of stoppage time and sending the goalkeeper up for an extra attacker, it was not enough and both teams were eliminated.
- 1st: United States 9 (2-0-0, +18) [advances]
- 2nd: Sweden 6 (2-0-1, +4) [advances]
- 3rd: Chile 3 (1-0-2, -3) [eliminated]
- 4th: Thailand 0 (0-0-3, -19) [eliminated]
The United States plays Spain in the early match on June 24, in Reims. Sweden plays Canada in the later match on June 24, in Paris.
Chile and Thailand become the final two teams eliminated in the group stage, leaving Nigeria (#39) to advance, and with Cameroon this makes the first time two teams from Africa have advanced in the same World Cup. Nigeria plays Germany in the earlier match on June 22, in Grenoble, the first match to be played in the knockout round.
The final games also set the final third place rankings, setting these matches: England and Cameroon play the earlier match on June 23, in Valenciennes; France and Brazil play the later match on June 23, in Le Havre.
The knockout stage bracket is now completely set, and we have a day of rest before the elimination games begin on Saturday.