Two more quarterfinalists were determined Monday as both the USA and Sweden earned their spots into the final eight. The Americans (-227) took on a feisty Spain team and came away with a 2-1 win. Megan Rapinoe scored two penalties, one in the 7th minute and one in the 75th minute, to power the USA to a quarterfinal showdown with France. Sweden (+200) used a 55th minute goal from Stina Blasckstenius, and a penalty save from keeper Hedvig Lindahl, to knock off Canada 1-0. The Swedes will now take on Germany in the quarterfinals.
The final two quarterfinal spots will be determined Tuesday as Italy (+110) takes on China (+275) and the Netherlands (-118) looks to get by Japan (+333).
Here are my picks for Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup games.
Italy (+110) vs China (+275): Draw (+210)
Italy went 2-1 during their group stage play with a surprise win over Australia 2-1 to open play and then followed that up with a 5-0 win over Jamaica and a late 1-0 loss to Brazil. The Italians have outscored opponents 7-2 during their first three games and will need to work hard to get a goal past the Chinese defense.
China went 1-1-1 during their group stage and there were not many goals scored in their games. China opened up play with a 1-0 defeat to Germany then beat South Africa 1-0 and played to a 0-0 draw against Span in their final games. The Chinese have not had a game where both teams scored more than one goal since October 2017.
I like the Italians to get through to the quarterfinals.
Italy leads the H2H 2-0 and have not given up a goal in either game against the Chinese. Italy won the first matchup, in 2004, 1-0 and then followed that up with a 2-0 win in 2008.
Netherlands (-118) vs Japan (+333): Draw (+240)
The Dutch went a perfect 3-0 during the group stages as they picked up a 1-0 win over New Zealand, a 3-1 win over Cameroon and ended their group stage with a 2-1 win over the Canadians. The Netherlands is now on a seven game win streak that dates back to before the World Cup began.
Japan scrapped to a 1-1-1 group stage record after getting a 2-1 win over Scotland, drawing Argentina 0-0 and losing to England 2-0. The Japanese have not been in great form lately and were a bit of a surprise to get second place in their group as many expected Scotland to earn that spot.
I like this one to end as a draw in regular time and for the Dutch to come through after extra time.
These two nations have previously met five times with the Netherlands leading the H2H 3-2. The Dutch won the most previous meeting 6-2 during last season’s Algarve Cup.
YTD Soccer Results: 92-85