It’s official, the USWNT will play Sweden on Sunday

Sweden's Rebecka Blomqvist (15) celebrates after scoring her side's opening goal with team mates during the Women's World Cup Group G soccer match between Argentina and Sweden in Hamilton, New Zealand, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Sweden played nine different starters in its 2-0 win over Argentina. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Sweden ensured that it will be the United States’ opponent early Sunday morning with a 2-0 win over Argentina to clinch Group G on Tuesday.

Perhaps eyeing the USWNT, Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson changed nine starters for the Argentina game as Sweden entered with two wins in its first two games.

Rebecka Blomqvist broke a 0-0 tie in the 66th minute with the go-ahead goal and then Elin Rubensson made sure Sweden was going to get all three points with a 90th-minute penalty kick.

Sweden’s backups were very aggressive; the Swedes committed 21 fouls but had just one yellow card. Argentina mustered only two shots on goal as it ended the World Cup with a draw and two losses.

Sweden had a goal differential of plus-8 in its three group stage games and you shouldn’t put much stock in their odds at BetMGM for Sunday’s game. The USWNT is favored to win in regulation at +105 while Sweden is at +240 to win and a draw is at +230.

We’re comfortable saying those odds are designed to protect the house with so many Americans betting on the USWNT throughout this World Cup. Given the way the USWNT has played in this World Cup so far, Sweden is the better side to back. The game kicks off at 5 a.m. ET on Fox.

Brazil is out of the Women’s World Cup.

Jamaica eked out a 0-0 tie with Brazil to advance to the second round and prevent Marta and her teammates from getting the win they needed. Brazil had to win to advance to the next round.

Marta started for Brazil and had a great chance at the beginning of the game. Brazil controlled the game and kept pushing for the go-ahead goal, but Jamaica held firm.

Marta said before the tournament that 2023 would be her final World Cup. Marta is perhaps the best women’s soccer player ever and has 115 goals in 175 career appearances for the national team. It’s a disappointing end to her career as Brazil was heavily favored to advance to the knockout rounds.

Jamaica advances in second in Group F and will play the top team in Group H.

South Africa got a surprising win over Italy, thanks to Thembi Kgatlana’s goal in the 92nd minute.

Kgatlana gave South Africa a 3-2 win and pushed South Africa into the knockout rounds and eliminated the Italians.

Arianna Caruso put Italy up 1-0 in the 11th minute and tied the game at 2-2 with a penalty in the 74th minute. South Africa tied the game at 1-1, thanks to an own goal by Benedetta Orsi in the 32nd minute and took a 2-1 lead on Hildah Magaia’s goal in the 67th.

Orsi’s own goal tied the game after she attempted to play a back pass to goalie Francesca Durante and didn’t realize where Durante was on the field.

All Italy needed was a tie, with South Africa entering the game winless. Italy lost to Sweden but had beaten Argentina. With Argentina also winless, four points would have been comfortable enough to get the Italians through to the Round of 16.

Instead, South Africa finished the group stage with four points while Italy had just three.

France cruised to a 6-3 win over Panama to top Group F.

Panama struck first in the second minute with an incredible goal by Marta Cox from a long way out on a free kick. You have to see it. It may be the best goal of the tournament so far.

From there, France dominated the game. Maëlle Lakrar tied the game in the 21st minute, and Kadidatou Diani then scored back-to-back goals in the span of 10 minutes to give France a 3-1 lead.

The lead was three goals at halftime after Léa Le Garrec scored in added time.

Diani completed her hat trick early in the second half from the penalty spot after a VAR review found a handball in the box against Panama.

The win gave France seven points through three games and was a masterclass in domination even if Panama got a couple goals late in the second half. Panama hardly had the ball, and France peppered the Panama goal throughout the match.

France will play the second-place team from Group H in the knockout rounds. That team will likely be either Colombia or Germany.


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