Next Friday, August 19th, the Olympic women’s soccer tournament will come to a close. At 4:30pm, the gold medal match will kick off and a champion will be crowned. But first, that champion will have to make it through the quarterfinal and semi-final rounds. Here are my predictions of the winners, losers, and who will wear the gold medal.
USA v. Sweden
I predict the USA to win this game. While Sweden has some strong players, they have struggled to come together as a team and have an impact on the field during this tournament. They scored only two goals during the group stage, winning just one game. The United States won two of their games and drew once during the group stage, scoring a total of five goals. While Sweden is certainly a threat on the pitch, the USA always finds a way to score.
China v. Germany
While China had a decent performance in the group stage, I predict Germany to win this game. Germany is definitely a weakened side, as they lost a lot of strong players after the World Cup. Canada did a good job at holding Germany’s offense at bay, but I don’t think China has the same strength on defense. They scored two goals against South Africa, but that was all they scored during the group stage. They’ll need more than that to outscore Germany.
Canada v. France
This might be the most interesting match of the day, and honestly, I think it is anyone’s game to take. France has a history of being a strong team, and have had a good Olympic tournament so far, losing only one match 1-0 to the United States. While France typically has a problem scoring, they have overcome that during this tournament, scoring seven goals during the group stage. While Canada certainly has a strong defense, France does too, and it might be difficult for Canada to break through. It’s anyone’s game to take, but France definitely has the edge.
Brazil v. Australia
The host nation Brazil had a dominant performance in the group stage. They won two of their matches and drew in their final match against South Africa. They didn’t need to win against South Africa, and no doubt they were more focused on keeping their best players rested and healthy than scoring goals. They had dominant wins in their other two group stage games, scoring a total of eight goals. Australia had a dominant match against Zimbabwe, but they struggled against the stronger teams, losing 2-0 to Canada and drawing 2-2 to Germany after having a 2-0 lead. While it’ll be a tight match, I predict Brazil to win.
Brazil v. USA
If both of these teams win their quarterfinal games, they will meet in the semi-finals. They have been the two most dominant teams in the tournament. Neither of them have lost a game. The United States, ranked number one in the world, is looking to become the first team to win an Olympic gold medal after winning a World Cup. Brazil is looking to bring home a gold medal to a home crowd that has cheered them on throughout the tournament. It will be a close match, and honestly, either one of them can win. But the pure talent on the United States side will be hard for Brazil to beat. I predict that the US will pull through and win this match.
France v. Germany
France and Germany have a tumultuous history playing against each other. The last time these two teams met in a competitive match, it was a brutal quarterfinal in the World Cup. Both teams played their hearts out for 120 minutes, and when it came down to penalty kicks, 21-year-old Claire Lavogez took the pitch for the fifth and final kick for France. A newcomer to the French national team, now she was facing one of the best goalkeepers in the world. She missed. The loss devastated France, but they’ll come back much stronger in this Olympic tournament. Germany has lost a lot of players since then, including star goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. France will be looking for redemption, and I think they’ll get it. I predict that France will win this match.
Bronze Medal Match:
Brazil v. Germany
While both of these teams are incredibly talented, I predict that Brazil will win this match and take the bronze medal. At the end of the day, they will fight harder and put in more work to bring home a medal to their country. Playing in front of a home crowd, they will be tough to beat. Germany is already a weakened side, and their passion on the pitch has been noticeably lacking. Brazil has the talent and skill to bring home the bronze, and I believe that they will.
Gold Medal Match:
USA v. France
These two teams already met once in the group stage, and it was a tough match. Both sides are extremely talented and aggressive. But I think that the United States will win this match and take home the gold. Even though France has done much better at scoring than in their recent past, the United States always finds ways to score. They proved that in their group stage match against France. No doubt the teams will be equally matched, but I believe that the United States will find a way to win.
So, those are my predictions. But remember, anyone can win on any day. So don’t miss any of the Olympic action!