The first of the final 8 in FIFA Women´s World Cup 2023

by Lorraine Williamson
FIFA Women´s World Cup Final 8

Following wins from Spain and Japan on the first day of the final 16 in the FIFA Women´s World Cup, the last of the round of 16 have now been played, and the quarterfinalists are confirmed. Check out the first teams to reach the final 8.

On Sunday, the Netherlands played against South Africa, and later, Sweden took on previous winners, USA to determine the final 8.

Netherlands v South Africa

The first real chance in the game came as early as 6 minutes in. South Africa´s Gamede intercepted the ball from Pelova and passed it forward for Seoposenwe who sent the ball into the penalty area for Kgatlana, but her shot at goal was easily picked up by Van Domselaar.

Then 3 minutes later, after a second corner kick, a beautiful set piece resulted in a goal for the Netherlands. Spitse sent the ball to Beerensteyn whose header was saved by Swart. But the ball wasn´t held, and Roord finished it off with another header. This time, it went in the net. The Netherlands were one goal up.

The game continued with chances for both sides. But in the final minutes of first half stoppage time, the tension was high. Just before the 45 minutes mark, Kgatlana had a chance at goal, but Van der Gragt easily headed it out of the danger zone.

Then Van Domselaar had 2 amazing saves back to back. With 7 minutes of stoppage time added, the South African side tested Van Domselaar once again.

The pace and skill of the South Africa captain, Kgatlana kept the Netherlands on their toes. And thanks to some amazing saves by Van Domeselaar, the first half ended with Netherlands in the lead by one goal to nil.

Second half

Just 10 minutes into the second half and the Netherlands have done it again. But after it was initially given, VAR reversed the decision. It was ruled as offside in the build up to the goal.

However, in the end, Beerensteyn got her goal. In the 68th minute of the game, Pelova intercepted the ball and passed it up-field to Martens. Beerensteyn made the run, and took her shot from 20 yards out. Swart struggled to hold it, and in the net it went. Netherlands were winning 2-0, but with over 20 minutes plus stoppage time to go, it was still anyone’s game. However, it could have been a lot more goals for the Dutch side but for Swarts amazing saves.

Then on the 80-minute mark, Beerensteyn again put the ball in the back of the net. But once more it was offside, and didn´t count! The score remained 2-0 for the Netherlands.

The game continued at a furious pace, but the Netherlands remained in control. Consequently, the Netherlands progressed to the final 8.

Sweden v USA

Early in the match USA´s Rodman was the one to watch. She seemed to be everywhere. She had an excellent chance in the 27th minute, but Musovic was able to push it away. However, the game remained goalless at the end of the first half with Musovic making some amazing saves.

The second half barely started when Musovic just managed to palm a ball away from a shot from Horan. Although the USA appeared to be the stronger side, the goals were not forthcoming. It wasn´t until the 85th minute, that Sweden had their first real chance. Then in the final minute of normal time, Morgan had a chance. But once again, it was denied by the skill of Mosovic. Full time also ended goalless.

It went to extra time

Extra time was much like the first 90 minutes. The USA were denied every chance because of Musovic´s skills. With the extra 30 minutes played with still no goals, it was down to penalties.


The first penalty was taken by the USA. The first 2 went in for both sides. On the third, the USA scored, but Sweden missed. On the fourth, both sides missed. USA were still in the lead. However, next up, USA missed, and Sweden scored. It was all level again. For the sixth shot, both teams scored. It was nail biting stuff! However, it all ended for the USA when O´Hara stepped up and missed, then Hurtig scored making it 5-4 on penalties. Sweden progressed, and the USA went home.

Final 8

Spain will next face the Netherlands on Friday, August 11, and Sweden will take on Japan.

Also read: Your guide to the knock out rounds

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