The official website for European football

European contenders impress in Canada

Published: Thursday 18 June 2015, 17.00CET
Seven of Europe's eight contenders made it past the group stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup and Spain were the width of the crossbar away from a potential clean sweep.
European contenders impress in Canada
Germany's Anja Mittag top-scored in the group stage with four goals ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Thursday 18 June 2015, 17.00CET

European contenders impress in Canada

Seven of Europe's eight contenders made it past the group stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup and Spain were the width of the crossbar away from a potential clean sweep.

The group stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup is over with seven of Europe's eight entrants having reached the knockout phase. We review how they got on.

• The three European teams that progress furthest (other than ineligible England) will qualify for the 2016 Olympic tournament in Brazil.
• If needed, play-offs or a mini-tournament to decide Europe's Olympic entry will be held provisionally in February/March 2016.

©AFP/Getty Images

Group A: Netherlands (3rd)
On their World Cup debut, the Netherlands opened by beating New Zealand 1-0 with Lieke Martens's spectacular goal. They then lost 1-0 to an added-time China goal but Kirsten van de Ven scored with three minutes left against hosts Canada for a 1-1 draw. They were still behind Canada and China but a day later were confirmed as one of the four best third-placed teams, and now face holders Japan

©AFP/Getty Images

Group B: Germany (1st), Norway (2nd)
Both teams surged to opening victories, Norway beating Thailand 4-0 and Germany seeing off Ivory Coast 10-0, both Célia Šašić and Anja Mittag getting hat-tricks. Next up they met in Ottowa and although Mittag scored early, Maren Mjelde's excellent free-kick ensured Norway held Germany 1-1. They both won on the final day, Germany defeating Thailand 4-0 to finish top on goal difference and Norway overcoming Ivory Coast 3-1. Both now face European opponents.

©Getty Images

Group C: Switzerland (3rd)
Switzerland had a tough opening to their first senior final tournament, but only narrowly lost 1-0 to Japan. They then found their feet, leading Ecuador 2-0 at half-time and going on to win 10-1, Fabienne Humm scoring a competition-record six-minute hat-trick and Ramona Bachmann also adding three. Switzerland led Cameroon at half-time but one of the tournament's surprise packages came back to win 2-1. However, Switzerland were to progress as one of the four best third-placed teams and now take on hosts Canada.

©Getty Images

Group D: Sweden (3rd)
Sweden led their opener against Nigeria 2-0 and 3-2 but were ultimately grateful to draw 3-3. They then drew 0-0 with the United States and 1-1 with Australia to finish behind both, but a day later when Brazil beat Costa Rica 1-0, Sweden could celebrate progress and a chance to avenge their 2003 final defeat by Germany when they face off in the opening knockout game in Ottowa on Saturday.

©AFP/Getty Images

Group E: Spain (4th - eliminated)
Spain were held 1-1 on their World Cup debut by Costa Rica, Vicky Losada's 13th-minute goal cancelled out almost immediately. After a 1-0 loss to Brazil, who clinched first place with a game to go, Spain knew victory against South Korea would be enough for progress and led at half-time through Verónica Boquete. South Korea rallied and went 2-1 up but with Brazil winning 1-0, a Spain equaliser would have left them drawing lots for second place with Costa Rica, eliminating their Asian opposition. Substitute Sonia Bermudez lined up an added-time free-kick but hit the crossbar.

©Getty Images

Group F: France (1st), England (2nd)
Like in Group B, the two European teams ended up on top, but were not as dominant as Germany and Norway. Eugénie Le Sommer scored the only goal as France beat England 1-0 in their first game but Les Bleues then suffered a surprise 2-0 loss to Colombia. England overcame Mexico 2-1 thanks to Fran Kirby and substitute Karen Carney, and repeated that scoreline against Colombia, again conceding at the death though by then first-half goals by Carney and Fara Williams had sealed victory. France hit top form to dismiss Mexico 5-0, three of the goals in the first 13 minutes, and they topped England on goal difference. France now take on South Korea for a quarter-final against Germany or Sweden; England meet Norway, who they have not beaten in nine competitive meetings but have not lost to in five friendlies since 2002.

©Getty Images

Knockout schedule (KO CET)
Round of 16:
Saturday 20 June
39: Germany v Sweden (Ottowa) 22.00
37: China v Cameroon (Edmonton) 01.30 next day
Sunday 21 June
41: Brazil v Australia (Moncton) 19.00
40: France v South Korea (Montreal) 22.00
44: Canada (hosts) v Switzerland (Vancouver) 01.30 next day
Monday 22 June
43: Norway v England (Ottowa) 23.00
38: United States v Colombia (Edmonton) 02.00 next day
Tuesday 23 June
42: Japan (holders) v Netherlands (Vancouver) 04.00 next day

©AFP/Getty Images

Quarter-finals:
Friday 26 June
45: China/Cameroon v US/Colombia (Ottowa) 22.00
46: Germany/Sweden v France/South Korea (Montreal) 01.30 next day
Saturday 27 June
47: Brazil/Australia v Japan/Netherlands (Edmonton) 22.00
48: Norway/England v Canada/Switzerland (Vancouver) 01.30 next day

©AFP/Getty Images

Semi-finals:
Tuesday 30 June
49: W45 v W46 (Montreal) 01.00 next day
Wednesday 1 July
50: W47 v W48 (Edmonton) 01.00 next day

Third-place play-off:
Saturday 4 July (Edmonton) 22.00

Final:
Sunday 5 July (Vancouver) 01.00 next day

Past World Cup finals (European teams in bold)
2011: Japan 2-2 United States (aet, 3-1 pens); Frankfurt, Germany
2007: Germany 2-0 Brazil; Shanghai, China
2003: Germany 1-0 Sweden (aet, golden goal); Carson, United States
1999: United States 0-0 China (aet, 5-4 pens); Pasadena, United States
1995: Norway 2-0 Germany; Stockholm, Sweden
1991: United States 2-1 Norway; Guangzhou, China

Last updated: 19/06/15 12.12CET

https://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=2258982.html#european+contenders+impress+canada