Women's World Cup 2019: Quarter-Finals Schedule, Power Rankings

Eight teams now remain in the Women's World Cup. The quarter-finals get underway on Thursday when Norway faces England.

The U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) faces France in Paris on Friday in a highly awaited tie, while on Saturday Italy takes on the Netherlands and Sweden plays Germany.

Here, Newsweek ranks all the teams that have progressed to the quarter-finals

1. U.S.A

Having breezed through the group stage to the tune of 18 goals in three games, the defending champions were pushed all the way by Spain in the round of 16. Two Megan Rapinoe penalties were enough to earn a spot in the quarter-finals, but tougher challenges await USWNT—and they don't come much bigger or harder than a meeting with France in Paris on Friday night.

Coach Jill Ellis was criticized for a number of calls against Spain, namely playing Alex Morgan when she looked barely half-fit and not making any substitutions until the 85th minute, while her players were uncharacteristically sloppy at times.

There will not be much room for error at Parc des Princes on Friday.

USWNT, World Cup
USA players line up for team photos prior to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Round of 16 match between Spain and USA at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 24 in Reims, France. Zhizhao Wu/Getty

2. France

From the moment the World Cup groups were drawn, June 28 was circled in red on calendars across France as the day of a potential meeting with the U.S. in the quarters. The forecast has come to pass and the hosts know their hopes of winning a first World Cup go through the defending champions.

Having started the tournament with a convincing 4-0 win over South Korea, France was underwhelming in the other two group games and needed extra time to overcome Brazil in the round of 16.

Wendie Renard has been largely disappointing, Eugenie Le Sommer has failed to reproduce the form shown against South Korea and goals have been hard to come by.

Despite the facing the best team in the world, the hosts are in the unique position of having a lot of pressure on their shoulders too, largely because of history.

France has not reached the semifinals of the World Cup or Olympic Games since 2012 and has won just three times in 23 matches against the U.S., although two of those wins came in the last three meetings.

3. Germany

While USWNT and France have commanded the lion's share of attention, the Germans have quietly but efficiently gone about their business.

The Olympic champions are the only team in the tournament yet to concede a goal and the goals have been shared out at the other end, with six different players getting on the scoresheet.

The only question mark over Germany is how it will respond to tougher challenges than those it has faced so far, but a quarter-final against Sweden should go a long way in answering that question.

4. England

The Lionesses' 3-0 win over Cameroon in the round of 16 was overshadowed by controversy over VAR, which prompted their opponents to threaten to walk off the field.

Underneath the farcical scenes, there were mixed messages for England coach Phil Neville. His team showed remarkable composure in dealing with the physical challenge posed by Cameroon and took its chances well.

On the other hand, an all-too-familiar tendency to switch off once ahead surfaced yet again and the game could have taken a whole different route had Cameroon's goal to make it 2-1 been allowed to stand.

Against Norway, England will have to be much better.

5. Sweden

The Olympic runners-up have largely flown under the radar so far but the win against Canada has seen them emerge as dark horses.

Defensively solid and very organized across the park, the Scandinavians are a hard team to break down and turn to Kosovare Asllani to inspire them in the final third of the pitch. She did just that against Canada, delivering a superb assist for Stina Blackstenius, who scored the only goal in the win against the Canadians.

The playmaker will need to be at the top of her game if Sweden is to gain revenge for the 2016 Olympics when it plays Germany on Saturday.

6. Netherlands

The Oranje have made history by reaching the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the first time, beating Japan thanks to a last-minute penalty Lieke Martens.

Outplayed by the 2011 winner for most of the second half, the Netherlands dug deep to grind out a result, offering a timely reminder that in Martens and Vivianne Miedema they have the caliber of players capable of winning any game.

The European champions have won each of their four games at this Women's World Cup, after winning just one of their previous four in the competition. They will back themselves to reach the semifinals.

7. Italy

Arguably the surprise package of the tournament, Italy's 2-0 win over China saw it qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since the inaugural World Cup in 1991.

The Azzurre have been typically resolute defensively, conceding just once from open play so far in the tournament, while the likes of Valentina Giacinti, Barbara Bonansea and Cristiana Girelli provide a major attacking threat.

The latter was injured against China and is a doubt for Saturday, but in Aurora Galli Italy have the perfect replacement. The forward has scored three times as a substitute in the World Cup so far, equalling the tournament record set by Australia's Lisa de Vanna in 2007.

8. Norway

The absence of Ada Hegerberg has so far not proved a distraction for Norway, far from it. The Scandinavians recovered from conceding a late equalizer against Australia to eliminate the Matildas after a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011.

Fatigue, however, could be a factor for a team that was happy to sit back and soak up pressure against Australia.

England, Norway's opponents on Thursday, has had one less day to recover from their round of 16 exertions but it only played 90 minutes instead of 120.

Quarter-finals schedule (All times ET)

Thursday, June 27

  • Norway vs England—3 p.m. Fox

Friday, June 28

  • France vs U.S.A.—3 p.m. Fox

Saturday, June 29

  • Italy vs Netherlands—9 a.m. FS1
  • Germany vs Sweden—12:30 p.m. FS1
Women's World Cup 2019: Quarter-Finals Schedule, Power Rankings | Sports