With the group stage only eliminating eight teams, there are still seven Arsenal players left at the World Cup. After the late drama of Wednesday, Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Jennifer Beattie will begin their summer holidays. Little and Beattie both scored on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough as Argentina clawed back a three goal deficit.
Germany v Nigeria
June 22, 5:30 PM CEST/11:30 AM EDT/8:30 AM PDT
Leonie Maier, defender
Leonie Maier hasn’t played a minute yet for Germany, with teenager Giulia Gwinn, who scored the winner against China, and Kathrin Hendrich preffered. Germany play Nigeria in the early game on Saturday, with Germany favoured to win and play the winner of Sweden versus Canada. Nigeria qualifed as the fourth best third place team, with a missed Chilean penalty being the difference. Nigeria lost to Norway and France but beat South Korea in the group stage, while Germany win all three games without conceding a goal.
England v Cameroon
June 23, 5:30 PM CEST/11:30 AM EDT/8:30 AM PDT
Leah Williamson, defender, and Beth Mead, winger
Leah Williamson hasn’t played a minute for England at this World Cup, as Phil Neville preferred Abbie McManus when he had to replace Millie Bright. Bright is fit again, and will likely partner Steph Houghton, with Houghton staying in the side despite an errant pass leading to a Scotland goal. England won all three group matches, beating Scotland 2-1, Argentina 1-0 and Japan 2-0. In all three games there have been periods of dominance, but England were also very shaky in the second half against both Scotland and Japan while protecting one-goal leads. With Toni Duggan injured, Beth Mead started the first two games, and created Jodie Taylor’s winner against Argentina with an excellent cross. Duggan came back into the lineup against Japan, but didn’t look quite sharp; Mead should start. Cameroon qualified by virtue of their 95th minute winner against New Zealand, with the goal enough to send them through on goal difference. The winner plays the winner of Norway and Australia, and would be a potential USA opponent in the semi-final.
France v Brazil
June 23, 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, goalkeeper
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin also hasn’t played, with Sarah Bouhaddi starting all three games. Don’t expect that to change unless there’s injury. Brazil were the best third place team, finishing with 6 points, having beaten Italy and Jamaica. They coughed up a 2-0 lead against Australia, though, which means, having beaten Jamaica by fewer goals than Italy and Australia did, Italy topped the group, Australia finished second, and Brazil get the misfortune of playing the hosts. The winner plays the winner of the United States and Spain.
Netherlands v Japan
June 25, 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Danielle van de Donk, midfielder, Jill Roord, midfielder, Vivianne Miedema, striker
The Netherlands play Japan, after winning all three group games and topping the group. While there’s a sense that Netherlands have yet to fire on all cylinders, they’ve managed to win every game, in part because of substitutions and talent. Despite impresing and making a difference in each game, including scoring the winner against New Zealand, Jill Roord will likely play the role as super-sub. Danielle van de Donk will start in midfield, and upfront, Vivianne Miedema will want more service from the creative players behind her. Miedema scored twice against Cameroon, but didn’t score against Canada or New Zealand. The winner plays against either Italy or China, and should feel pretty good about making a run to the semi-finals.