Game-by-game guide to Women’s World Cup group stage

Three basic icons here:

  • 📺 ️- must-watch
  • ☠️ – must-win
  • 🏏- country also playing in Cricket World Cup on same day

Times Eastern

Friday, June 7

3 p.m., FS1: France vs South Korea. Traditional first-day favorable matchup for the hosts.

Saturday, June 8

📺 9 a.m., FS1: Germany vs China. Does China have anything to offer this time?

Noon, Fox: Spain vs South Africa. This probably won’t be a ratings winner on the main network.

3 p.m., Fox: Norway vs. Nigeria. The longtime African champions might be a surprise team. Or not. Several Nigerian players are based next to Norway in Sweden.

Sunday, June 9

📺 🏏 7 a.m., FS1: Australia vs. Italy. The Aussies, boasting the intergenerational attack of Sam Kerr and Lisa de Vanna, could seriously win this thing. Italy hasn’t been on this stage often but has a couple of interesting attackers from Juventus.

📺 ☠️ 9:30 a.m., FS1: Brazil vs. Jamaica. It’s Marta vs. Bunny Shaw. Samba vs. reggae. And we’ll either see Brazil break its losing streak or an upset they’ll be talking about in the Caribbean for a long time. I’m giving this one the skull-and-crossbones because Brazil will be in serious trouble if they can’t take this one.

📺 ️Noon, Fox: England vs. Scotland. Not quite the history we see on the men’s side, but it’ll be fun to see Kim Little and Rachel Corsie trying to pull off the upset.

Monday, June 10

Noon, FS1: Argentina vs. Japan. Meh. Japan should pass circles around an Argentina team lacking resources. It’ll be nice to see Estefania Banini, though.

3 p.m., FS1: Canada vs. Cameroon. I never thought I’d write the sentence “Can Estelle Johnson stop Christine Sinclair?” outside of an NWSL preview.

Tuesday, June 11

📺 ️9 a.m., FS1: New Zealand vs. Netherlands. The Football Ferns have a squad with plenty of World Cup and Olympic experience, and they’ve brought in Tom Sermanni as coach. They’re facing the shock Euro 2017 champions.

Noon, FS1: Chile vs. Sweden. This matchup within the USA’s group will provide an ideal opportunity to follow along with The Guardian‘s play-by-play.

3 p.m., Fox: USA vs. Thailand. Should be like watching one of those games from the 1990s in which opponents quaked in fear upon seeing Mia Hamm line up across from them.

Wednesday, June 12

☠️ 9 a.m., FS1: Nigeria vs. South Korea. Chelsea’s Ji So-yun will be the orchestrator for South Korea, but Nigeria counters with Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala, who dominated at U20 level. In a group with France and Norway, this is the best chance for either team to get points. (Remember — the top four third-place teams advance to the Round of 16.)

📺 ️Noon, Fox: Germany vs. Spain. The team of the 2000s vs. the team of the 2020s?

📺 3 p.m., Fox: France vs. ️Norway. Call me Euro-centric if you like, but this is a pretty good doubleheader on Fox.

Thursday, June 13

📺 Noon, Fox: Australia vs. Brazil. Did you ever think Brazil would be the underdog in this matchup? Believe it.

☠️ 3 p.m., Fox: China vs. South Africa. Can’t rule out one of these teams taking a point off Spain, but this is probably a true elimination game.

Friday, June 14

9 a.m., FS1: Japan vs. Scotland. This Japanese team might be a shadow of the 2011 champions, but I’m not seeing a way they’ll drop points in either of these first two games.

📺 🏏 Noon, Fox: Italy vs. Jamaica. Second chance for Bunny Shaw and company to get a result.

🏏3 p.m., Fox: England vs. Argentina. Yeah.

Saturday, June 15

9 a.m., FS1: Netherlands vs. Cameroon. Yeah.

📺 3 p.m., FS2: Canada vs. New Zealand. Another game in which you can’t count out the islanders.

Sunday, June 16

9 a.m., FS1: Sweden vs. Thailand. Maybe they’ll both bunker.

📺 Noon, Fox: USA vs. Chile. This is the de facto final warmup for the Americans.

Monday, June 17 (concurrent games start)

📺 ️Noon, FS1: China vs. Spain. Looks like FS1 plans to carry the “Second-tier Euro team vs. partially unknown Asian team” games.

Noon, Fox: South Africa vs. Germany. Looks like Fox plans to carry the “European power takes easy matchup with upstart African team” games.

3 p.m., FS1: Norway vs. South Korea. Looks like FS1 plans to carry the “Second-tier Euro team vs. partially unknown Asian team” games.

3 p.m., Fox: France vs. Nigeria. Looks like Fox plans to carry the “European power takes easy matchup with upstart African team” games.

Tuesday, June 18

3 p.m., FS1: Italy vs. Brazil. Imagine if this matchup took place between these countries’ men.

3 p.m., FS2: Jamaica vs. Australia. This is asking a bit much of the Caribbean team.

Wednesday, June 19

📺 ️3 p.m., FS1: Japan vs. England. Now we’re talking. Surely a game for first place.

☠️ 3 p.m., FS2: Scotland vs. Argentina. Likely a “loser goes home” game. No guarantee that the winner stays. But it should be one of the more interesting second-tier games.

Thursday, June 20

📺 ️Noon, Fox: Netherlands vs. Canada. There’s a chance one of these teams will have dropped points and will be fighting to stay in the tournament. Also the first of our Europe-CONCACAF doubleheader duel on Fox.

☠️ Noon, FS1: Cameroon vs. New Zealand. Can New Zealand reach another knockout round?

📺 ️📺 ️📺 ️3 p.m., Fox: USA vs. Sweden. Both teams will surely advance, but do we need to tell you why this game is a big one?

☠️ 3 p.m., FS1: Thailand vs. Chile. We’ll feel like we know both of these teams by this point, and yet one or two of them will be out after this.


One thought on “Game-by-game guide to Women’s World Cup group stage

  1. Nice analysis. I am not sure I would rate Brazil v Jamaica as “must watch.” Jamaica is going to be lucky to hold Brazil to 5-7 goals…England v Scotland is a game I am looking forward to watching. Those two teams played in the first official women’s international match 47 years ago.


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