The second round of games in the Group Stage is now complete, so below are the complete results of the (12) matches, as well as current group standings.
- Nigeria 2
- South Korea 0
Day 6, Group A, Grenoble: This match was between the two teams in Group A that lost their first matches, with a combined -7 goal differential, but with the tournament format, even third place in a group has a decent chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, so it important to win and stay out of the basement.
In the 29th minute, Kim Do-yeon of South Korea scored an own goal, giving Nigeria the lead, and though there was a VAR review on a possible hand ball, the goal was allowed to stand. In the 58th minute South Korea had a goal disallowed due to offsides. Finally, Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria scored properly in the 75th minute on a fast break from a tight angle to secure the win for Nigeria, and to become only the second Nigerian player to score in different World Cup editions.
- Germany 1
- Spain 0
Day 6, Group B, Valenciennes: This match was between the leaders of Group B, having both won their first round games. A victory here essentially guarantees advancement to the knockout stage, and while Spain was ahead on goal differential, Germany was the favorite based on world rankings.
The match was fairly even throughout most of the first half, until Sara Däbritz of Germany scored late in the half (42nd minute) to take a lead into halftime. Spain had some opportunities and dominated possession time, but the score held until the end. This was the first time Germany has ever had back-to-back 1-0 victories in the World Cup, and Spain maintains its record of never having lost a World Cup game by more than one goal.
The result of the China/South Africa game later assured the Germany will advance to the knockout stage.
- France 2
- Norway 1
Day 6, Group A, Nice: This match was between the two winning teams in Group A, and a victory in this game all but guarantees advancement into the knockout stage. (Technically, it is still mathematically possible to have two wins and not advance, but it has never happened in this tournament format.)
Norway started strong and continued that level of play throughout the match, but France scored all of the goals. The first half was scoreless, but Valérie Gauvin scored for France in the 46th minute, just 45 seconds into the second half. Wendie Renard negated that with an own goal in the 54th minute, leveling the score. Much to her relief, France was awarded a controversial penalty kick in the 72nd minute and Eugénie Le Sommer was able to bury it to regain the lead. The host team was able to hold on for a slightly fortunate victory in a game where possession time was exactly equal.
With the other results of day, France is assured a spot in the knockout stage.
- Australia 3
- Brazil 2
Day 7, Group C, Montpellier: This match was between a Brazil team leading the group with a victory and a +3 goal differential and an Australia team that was ranked higher coming into the tournament but which had suffered an upset loss. On paper, this should have been the closest match of this round (and of the tournament so far), and it did not disappoint.
Brazil started the scoring when Marta scored on a penalty kick in the 27th minute, returning to the pitch for this match after a thigh injury, and also becoming the first player to score in 5 different World Cups. This was followed by Cristiane scoring in the 38th minute (after getting a hattrick in the first round), giving Brazil a nice lead. However, Caitlin Foord scored for Australia a minute into stoppage time, leaving it a one goal game at halftime.
The second period started without Marta for Brazil, and Australia seemed invigorated. Chloe Logarzo scored for them in the 58th minute with a very long shot, bringing the score even. Then, in the 66th minute, Mônica of Brazil scored an own goal under pressure from Australia. There was a lengthy review of the play, in which a player for Australia was offside, but the goal was allowed by the rules because the ball was deliberately played by the defender and the attacking (offsides) player was not involved in the play. Desperately needing a goal, the coach for Brazil made the questionable decision to send in a substitute for Christiane in the 75th minute, leaving the two top stars for Brazil sitting on the bench. Australia held on for the victory.
- China 1
- South Africa 0
Day 7, Group B, Paris: This match was between the two teams in the lower half of Group B, both having lost first round games. Based on world rankings, China should be a much stronger team, but South Africa is not without its threats, despite being the second lowest ranked team in the tournament.
China played a stronger game, and Li Ying scored in the 40th minute to give them the lead. Just a couple minutes later, China had a header from corner service that hit the crossbar, bouncing almost straight down and mostly crossing the goal line, but failing to score by only an inch or two. They held the 1-0 advantage at halftime. The second half played fairly similarly to the first, albeit without any more goals scored. China scores the victory and, unfortunately, South Africa is now in the position that they have to beat Germany, the #2 team in the world, to have a chance to advance.
- Japan 2
- Scotland 1
Day 8, Group D, Rennes: This match was between the two lower teams in the group. At first glance, it appeared that Japan should be the clear favorite, as they are higher ranked than Scotland and had a point already; however, Japan gained that point by only managing a tie against a much lower ranked opponent, whereas Scotland played a strong, close game against a much higher ranked opponent.
Japan starting pressuring Scotland early, and they opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Mana Iwabuchi blasted in a goal from the top of the box. Then Yuika Sugasawa scored in the 36th minute on a penalty kick awarded on a very soft foul, giving Japan a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Scotland played better in the second half, ultimately capitalizing on a defensive mistake when Lana Clelland rocketed a shot from just outside the box into the back of the goal in the 88th minute. That was, however, the end of the scoring, making the controversial penalty the game winner.
- Italy 5
- Jamaica 0
Day 8, Group C, Reims: This match saw Italy attempt to maintain momentum after their upset win in the first round, while Jamaica, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, tried to score their first World Cup goal and take advantage of their best opportunity to win, or at least pick up their first World Cup point with a tie.
Italy was awarded a penalty kick in the 11th minute, which was seemingly stopped by Sydney Schneider, the goalkeeper for Jamaica; however, on review she was deemed to have moved off her line before the kick, and Cristiana Girelli was able to score on the second attempt in the 12th minute. Then, in the 25th minute, she scored her second from service on a corner kick, allowing Italy to take a 2-0 lead into haltime. Only 45 seconds into the second half, in the 46th minute, Girelli completed the hattrick, only the second one for the Italy team in World Cup history (the first being the first ever in Women’s World Cup back in 1991). Jamaica was not without their chances, and played a solid and spirited game, but Italy was too strong and Aurora Galli scored a brace of goals in the 71st and 81st minutes to finish the game, and book a guaranteed spot for Italy in the knockout stage.
- England 1
- Argentina 0
Day 8, Group D, Le Havre: This match was between the top two teams in Group D, England coming into the day at the top with 3 points, and Argentina having edged out the team they tied in the first round by the final tiebreaker (before “drawing of lots”). The world rankings would predict England (#4) at the top of the group and Argentina (#36) at the bottom. A win for England would guarantee advancement to the knockout stage, and a victory for Argentina would put them in a really good position.
In the first half, England showed the expected dominance, but Argentina held tight and prevented them from scoring, including their goalkeeper Vanina Correa blocking a penalty kick in the 28th minute, which was the first ever penalty kick miss by England in the World Cup. Finally, England broke through when Jodie Taylor managed to score a goal in the 62nd minute, and that was all they would need. Argentina continue to play strong defense and get a few opportunities, but England did enough to win and get through to the next stage. It was also the first time England has managed to win its first two games in the group stage of a World Cup.
- Netherlands 3
- Cameroon 1
Day 9, Group E, Valenciennes: This match was between one of the two (tied) group leaders, Netherlands (#7), who had to be considered the favorite, and the bottom team in the group, Cameroon (#46), who is nevertheless only at the bottom due to fair play points. However, Cameroon only lost to the top ranked team by a single goal, and Netherlands only won by the same margin, with a goal in stoppage time.
Netherlands looked more aggressive in the first half, but it took until the 41st minute before Vivianne Miedema scored for them on a very nice team play. Cameroon hit back almost immediately, with a goal by Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné in the 43rd minute on an excellent individual effort, leaving the game tied at halftime. Coming out in the second half, Dominique Bloodworth scored her first international goal in the 48th minute; it was also the first time Cameroon had ever conceded a second half goal in the World Cup, but they did so once more when Miedema scored her second in the 85th minute, icing the victory for Netherlands and assuring their advancement into the knockout stage.
- Canada 2
- New Zealand 0
Day 9, Group E, Grenoble: This match was between the other (tied) group leader, Canada (#5), the group favorite by world ranking, and New Zealand (#19), who lost a heartbreaker in stoppage time in the first round. A victory for Canada would book a place in the knockout stage, but New Zealand should be a decent challenge.
Canada dominated the first half in every way but the scoreboard, maintaining 73% of the possession, a pass accuracy of 85% (compared to 52% for New Zealand), and having 11 attempts on goals versus just 1 for their New Zealand, who nevertheless kept them out of the goal before halftime. However, the domination continued in the second half, and Jessie Fleming broke through to score in the 48th minute. Then, after having been denied a goal on a beautiful header earlier, Nichelle Prince scored a second goal for Canada in the 79th minute, sealing the win and giving them their first two goal game since 2007. It also advances Canada into the knockout stage.
Spare a thought for CJ Bott of New Zealand, who was hit awkwardly in the hand by a hard shot in the 16th minute and suffered a broken arm.
- Sweden 5
- Thailand 1
Day 10, Group F, Nice: This match was between one of the winners in the group, Sweden, and the victim of the worst loss in World Cup history, Thailand. With a win, Sweden can book a slot in the knockout stage, while Thailand simply needs to recover and play well in a match in which they are the heavy underdog.
Sweden opened the scoring early, with Linda Sembrandt heading in a goal in the 6th minute. Unlike in their first game, however, Thailand was not without real opportunities to score. Nevertheless, Kosovare Asllani scored in the 19th minute, and later Fridolina Rolfö blasted a goal in from outside the box in the 42nd minute, giving Sweden a commanding 3-0 lead at halftime. Thailand held Sweden scoreless for most of the second half, but Lina Hertig put in a nice header in the 81st minute. However, in stoppage time, in the 91st minute, Thailand broke through with a goal of their own by Kanjana Sung-Ngoen, prompting tears of joy from the bench. Moments later, Sweden was awarded a penalty kick, duly scored by Elin Rubensson in the 96th minute (after a delay for VAR review) just as the game ended. Sweden is guaranteed a place in the knockout stage, but Thailand took some consolation from scoring their first goal in this tournament.
- United States 3
- Chile 0
Day 10, Group F, Paris: This match was between the United States, coming off of a historic 13-0 victory, and Chile, who lost by a couple of goals in the first round. It would be an amazing result if Chile, ranked lowest in the group, were to put together a competitive match; however, the United States is starting a significantly different lineup for the second round, with seven personnel changes.
The United States opened the scoring when Carli Lloyd made a goal in the 11th minute, setting the record for having scored in 6 consecutive World Cup matches. They continued the momentum with Julie Ertz scoring in the 26th minute on a nice header, and then Carli Lloyd getting a second goal on another header in the 35th minute. The second half ended up being scoreless, despite a penalty kick being awarded in the 78th minute, as Lloyd shot wide left in her attempt for a hattrick. Much of the credit goes to Christiane Endler, the goalkeeper for Chile, who had a number of amazing saves and was named Player of the Match despite the defeat. The United States, in just the second round, has given playing time to every field player on the roster (only the two backup goalkeepers have not played); with the win they clinch a spot in the knockout stage.
- 1st: France 6 (2-0-0, +5) [advances]
- 2nd: Norway 3 (1-0-1, +2)
- 3rd: Nigeria 3 (1-0-1, -1)
- 4th: South Korea 0 (0-0-2, -6)
- 1st: Germany 6 (2-0-0, +2) [advances]
- 2nd: Spain 3 (1-0-1, +1)
- 3rd: China 3 (1-0-1, +0)
- 4th: South Africa 0 (0-0-2, -3)
- 1st: Italy 6 (2-0-0, +6) [advances]
- 2nd: Brazil 3 (1-0-1, +2)
- 3rd: Australia 3 (1-0-1, 0)
- 4th: Jamaica 0 (0-0-2, -8)
- 1st: England 6 (2-0-0, +2) [advances]
- 2nd: Japan 4 (1-1-0, +1)
- 3rd: Argentina 1 (0-1-1, -1)
- 4th: Scotland 0 (0-0-2, -2)
- 1st: Netherlands 6 (2-0-0, +3) [advances]
- 2nd: Canada 6 (2-0-0, +3) [advances]
- 3rd: Cameroon 0 (0-0-2, -3)
- 4th: New Zealand 0 (0-0-2, -3)
Note: Netherlands wins the next tiebreaker, goals scored, by 4-3 over Canada, as does Cameroon 1-0 over New Zealand).
- 1st: United States 6 (2-0-0, +16) [advances]
- 2nd: Sweden 6 (2-0-0, +6) [advances]
- 3rd: Chile 0 (0-0-2, -5)
- 4th: Thailand 0 (0-0-2, -17)
United States (#1), Germany (#2), France (#3), England (#4), Canada (#5), Netherlands (#7), Sweden (#9), and surprise Italy (#16) have now booked themselves spots in the knockout stage. The nature of this tournament format means that no team is mathematically eliminated after the second round, so every team has an incentive to play hard in the third (and final) round in the group stage.
Interestingly, as things stand after the second round, every team that has picked up a point so far would qualify for the knockout stage, and the 8 teams who have lost both games would be done, but we still have one more round to play in the group stage, so things can change. There are still 12 teams fighting for the 8 remaining spots, and even those who are assured a place in the next stage want to win their group, as the winners in a group get (supposedly) easier matches in the first knockout rounds.
Specifically, winners of Groups A-D get matched against third-placed teams, while the Group E and F winners get the runners up in Groups D and B respectively. Runners up in Groups A and C play each other, as do the runners up in Groups E and F. As complicated as that is, third round matches are played simultaneously in each group in an attempt to prevent match manipulation, such as two teams agreeing to not score on each other if a tie would guarantee both teams to advance.
Third round games (and eliminations) begin tomorrow.