2019 Women's World Cup: USA, the only non-Euro side in quarter-finals

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
USA are the only side not from Europe to be in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Women's World Cup
USA are the only side not from Europe to be in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Women's World Cup

Three-time champions, USA, are the only non-European side to advance to the quarter-finals stage of the Women's World Cup as the Round of 16 tie ended on Tuesday.

The Americans beat Spain 2-1 to advance and the Netherlands were 2-1 winners against Japan in the final Round of 16 tie on Tuesday to secure the eighth place for the next stage.

Champions in 1991, 1999 and 2015, the Stars and Stripes ladies maintained their unbeaten run with a penalty in each half by captain Megan Rapinoe to secure their eighth successive quarter-finals berth.

Megan Rapinoe converted two penalties to give USA the win over Spain

Rapinoe put her side ahead on the seventh minute, but Jennifer Hermoso equalised on the ninth minute. Just as the match inched to a draw, Rapinoe converted a second penalty to get the winning goal.

With the teams increased from 16 to 24 sides since the 2015 WWC, it is Europe that has benefitted more as seven out of nine teams from the continent are through to the next stage, increasing the likelihood of an European side lifting the trophy.

The Americans are the only CONCACAF side to advance from the three teams that represented with Jamaica exiting at the group stage and Canada losing 0-1 to Sweden at the Round of 16 stage.

Africa's three representative, Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroun are all out of the competition.
Nigeria and Cameroun were beaten 0-3 by Germany and England respectively at the Round of 16, while South Africa's Bayana Bayana failed to go past the group stage.

Brazil, the only team from CONMEBOL, South America's Confederation, followed Argentina and Chile home. Brazil reached the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed sides, but they were eliminated by hosts, France.

Hosts, France beat Brazil in extra time to advance to the quarter-finals

Asia had three of the five representatives in the Round of 16 -- China, Australia and Japan -- but by the time that the knockout round was over, all of them were eliminated.

While Norway broke the heart of Australia with a 4-1 penalty shootout win after a 1-1 draw game, China were beaten 2-0 by Italy and Japan lost 1-2 to the Netherlands.

The rest of the competition will thus be a contest between the USA and an European side, should the Americans progress.

On Friday, they begin this dicey task with the quarter-final encounter against the hosts, France.

The Netherlands maintained European dominance with a win over Japan to reach the quarter-finals

Round of 16 results
* Germany 3, Nigeria 0
* England 3, Cameroun 0
* Norway 4, Australia 1 (pen)
    1-1 after extra time
* France 2, Brazil 1
(after extra time)
* Spain 1, USA 1
* Sweden 1, canada 0
* The Netherlands 2, Japan 1

Quarter-finals matches:
Norway v England (June 27)
France v USA (June 28)
Italy v The Netherlands (June 29)
Germany v Sweden (June 29)