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Roundup: U.S. elimination leaves FIFA Women's World Cup broad open

CANBERRA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is heating up with solely eight groups left vying for the title.

France secured their spot within the quarterfinals Tuesday night time, dispatching Morocco in a decisive 4-0 win. The group stage was crammed with surprises, but the ultimate eight primarily consists of event regulars. Colombia is the exception, marking their maiden voyage to a Women’s World Cup quarterfinal.

Returning to the quarterfinals from their 2019 appearances are European stalwarts Sweden, the Netherlands, France, and England, who’ve efficiently dodged one another within the draw. Spain’s entry into the quarterfinals, their first in three World Cup appearances, brings the European contingent to 5, decreased from seven within the final version.

Joining them are Asian Football Confederation (AFC) representatives: Japan and co-hosts Australia. Colombia’s 1-0 win over Jamaica sees them turn into the second South American workforce, following Brazil, to succeed in the quarterfinals.

The obvious omission this yr is the four-time champions, the United States. Sweden edged them out in a nail-biting penalty shootout. This, decided by the slimmest of margins due to goal-line know-how, marked the earliest the US has been despatched packing from a Women’s World Cup. Consequently, for the primary time ever, no North American groups will function within the semi-finals; Olympic champs Canada did not advance previous Group B.

With the US and Norway out, Japan stays the only previous champions, having clinched the title in 2011. Their captain, Saki Kumagai, is the lone participant within the competitors to have beforehand lifted the trophy.

Echoing the 2011 World Cup, the spherical of 16 noticed a number of matches determined by penalties. England, the reigning European champions, needed to depend on spot-kicks to beat Nigeria.

Australia and New Zealand have witnessed rising pleasure for the event. The spherical of 16 video games averaged an attendance of 38,838 followers. Among these, a file 75,784 spectators watched the Matildas defeat Denmark at Stadium Australia. This equaled their opener as the most important crowd ever for Australia’s ladies’s nationwide workforce.

Aside from packing the stadiums, followers in each nations have been thronging the official Fan Festivals in every host metropolis. FIFA not too long ago celebrated the half-millionth fan visiting the official websites throughout the event’s first 19 days, averaging over 25,000 every day. Gerdine Lindhout, FIFA’s Head of Marketing Operations and Event Promotion, recommended the initiative’s success, saying, “While the stadiums are the heart of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, the FIFA Fan Festival embodies its spirit.”