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Olympics Women

Tokyo 2020 Power Rankings: USWNT third as Olympic knockouts begin

12:00 BST 28/07/2021
Alex Morgan Vivianne Miedema Magda Eriksson split
Goal ranks all of the contenders for the top spot on the podium at this summer's women's soccer tournament in Japan
  • Saki Kumagai Mina Tanaka Japan Women 2021

    #8 Japan | Last time: 7th

    Japan played plenty of their typical free-flowing football in the build-up to this tournament, but not much of it has been on display since the Games got underway.

    After difficult matches against Canada, a 1-1 draw, and Great Britain, a 1-0 defeat, they showed the best glimpses of it yet in their final clash with Chile, but struggled for the clinical touch at the end of it all, in a 1-0 win.

    They will need to up their level in the final third should they want to challenge for a medal on home soil, particularly with an incredibly tough quarter-final against Sweden to come.

  • Canada Women 2021

    #7 Canada | Last time: 8th

    Given the talent throughout Canada's squad, their tournament so far has been underwhelming.

    They were undone by a simple long ball in their draw with Japan and almost conceded a late equaliser against Chile, though a heavily rotated team almost got the job done against an equally much-changed Great Britain side in the final group game.

    That sets up a difficult quarter-final against Brazil, who they have struggled against in recent meetings.

    However, the South American side had their defensive issues in the group stages and Canada will hope to continue to grow into the competition as the games come, particularly with the experience in their ranks.

    They certainly have the talent to be able to do so, too.

  • Australia Women 2021

    #6 Australia | Last time: 6th

    After the Covid-19 pandemic heavily impacted their preparation for the Olympics, Australia have grown as the tournament has gone on and go into the knockout rounds as a serious dark horse.

    After beating New Zealand and pushing Sweden - who beat the U.S. women's national team 3-0 - all the way, they secured a goalless draw against the U.S. which could have been a victory, with 18-year-old starlet Mary Fowler hitting the bar.

    They face a Great Britain side in the next round who have shown glimpses of what they can do, but the Matildas will certainly fancy their chances, particularly with talent such as Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter in their ranks.

  • Millie Bright Ellen White Great Britain Women 2021

    #5 Great Britain | Last time: 5th

    After starting the tournament with a wonderful performance against Chile, which defied pre-Games concerns about whether this team could gel quickly enough, Great Britain lost their sparkle against Japan and Canada.

    The latter fixture did see them put out a heavily rotated team, though, and they still managed to get four points from the two fixtures.

    Team GB face Australia in the next round, which will not be an easy task, but given this team wants to win a gold medal, it will be one they expect themselves to overcome.

  • Brazil Women 2021

    #4 Brazil | Last time: 4th

    Brazil have shown plenty of different sides to them in this tournament so far. They have been both free-scoring and frustrated, both defensively chaotic and defensively sound.

    Their chances of making it onto the podium will now simply depend on which of those traits they show in the knockout rounds.

    They face Canada in the last eight, a team they have beaten this year already and one who were not overly impressive in the group stages.

    With players like Marta, widely regarded as the game's greatest ever player, and Debinha, who has established herself as one of the world's best in recent years, ranking at No.9 in Goal 50 last year, they should have enough to make it to the semi-finals.

  • Alex Morgan Christen Press USWNT 2021

    #3 United States | Last time: 3rd

    After being the favourites to win gold this summer, the U.S. suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their opening fixture which forced everyone to reassess their predictions.

    New Zealand asked questions of their defence a few days later and Australia almost condemned them to defeat in their third and final group game, too.

    The reigning world champions are certainly not out of contention from standing on that podium again, but they face a free-scoring Netherlands side next who will give them plenty of problems.

  • Netherlands Women 2021

    #2 Netherlands | Last time: 2nd

    Reigning European champions and finalists at the 2019 World Cup, the Netherlands go into the quarter-finals having scored 21 goals in just three games.

    However, while their attack is certainly no problem, their defence has looked shaky, conceding eight goals in that time.

    If they want to make it all the way to the final, they will need to improve in those areas, with an injury to Sherida Spitse on the eve of the Games proving to be a big blow.

  • Sweden Women 2021

    #1 Sweden | Last time: 1st

    Sweden were the only team in the group stages to win all three of their matches.

    They snapped the USWNT's 44-game unbeaten streak with an incredible 3-0 win in their opening game, beat Australia 4-2 in a thriller and then, with a heavily-rotated team, dispatched of New Zealand in their final fixture.

    They take on a Japan side in the last eight who are not firing on all cylinders yet and, unless the hosts suddenly find their 'A' game before Friday's meeting, Sweden will be expected to continue their winning ways.