The full list of teams that began the tournament is: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Equatorial Guinea, France, Germany, Japan, Korea DPR (North Korea), Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, USA. (Sadly Ireland didn’t make it through, having lost in the qualifiers to Switerland, but there are plenty of teams to cheer on.)
Familiarise yourself with some (ahem) key players over at AfterEllen.
The drama has continued in the competition, with England knocked out of the Quarter Finals by France, when that game ended 1-1, resulting in a penalty shoot out. The penalty score: England 3-4 France. (Sadly, this seems to be something of a trademark for English football regardless of gender.)
What was bound to be an epic battle between rivals Brazil and the USA eventually saw the Americans victorious over a weaker Brazilian team – but only just.
An own-goal by Daiane after 75 seconds saw the USA take the lead. That side later faced the sending-off of Rachel Buehler in the second half for taking down Marta in the box. This, however, was followed by the controversial decision by the ref to have the penalty – initially saved by Hope Solo – re-taken. The second attempt went in, thanks to Marta, allowing Brazil to draw level.
In the early stages of extra time, Brazil scored to make it 2-1, but in the very final seconds of additional time the USA’s Wambach made it 2-2 and the game went into penalties. With flawless penalty kicks and one save by Solo, the Americans triumphed over a devastated Brazil.
Have you any top tips? Favourites? Is your nation participating? If not, have you adopted a nation to follow? Tell all in the comments!
- Semi-Finals take place on 13th July 2011
- The FIFA World Cup 2011 Final will be held on 17th July 2011 in Frankfurt/Main
FIFA is streaming (some, if not all) matches here.