2019 Women’s World Cup Group A
The 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off on the 7th June, with host nation having been draw in Group A alongside South Korea, Norway and Nigeria. In what promises to be one of the most competitive groups in the entire tournament, many are already predicting that it will be a shootout between South Korea and Norway as to who joins France in the knockout phase. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the teams involved in Group A, including the full schedule and player news.
2019 Women’s World Cup: Group A Table & Schedule
- South Korea
2019 Women’s World Cup: Group A Schedule
- 7 June 2019 20:00 France vs South Korea Parc des Princes, Paris
- 8 June 2019 20:00 Norway vs Nigeria Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
- 12 June 2019 14:00 Nigeria vs South Korea Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
- 12 June 2019 20:00 France vs Norway Allianz Riviera, Nice
- 17 June 2019 20:00 Nigeria vs France Roazhon Park, Rennes
- 17 June 2019 20:00 South Korea vs Norway Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
France have moved up to No.4 in the world rankings over recent times, with the host nation being among the favourites for this summer’s World Cup as a result. Head Coach Corinne Diacre took over back in 2017, leading Les Bleus to three straight friendly victories ahead of the tournament, including a 4-0 win over Denmark in April. Having qualified for the event directly due to their status as the host nation, a lack of competitive action may hinder their progress, however they are likely to have the quality to make it through to the Round of 16 with relative ease.
Vice-Captain Eugénie Le Sommer will lead the line for the French over the coming weeks, with the Lyon striker having scored an impressive 74 international goals since her debut back in 2009. The hosts have a hugely experienced playing squad to select from, with Gaëtane Thiney, Élise Bussaglia and Wendie Renard all having over 100 caps their name. Despite the fact that France’s best finish at a World Cup was when they came in fourth position in 2011, whilst they have never progressed past the quarter-finals of a European Championship, France are certain to be a threat this summer, with their opening match against South Korea potentially deciding who will finish on top spot in Group A.
Having made it through to the Round of 16 four years ago in Canada, South Korea will be hoping for an even better showing in France, with Yoon Deok-yeo’s team having only qualified for the Finals back in April following their 5th place finish in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Coming into the tournament 14th in the world rankings, South Korea are not in the best of form of late, having registered one draw and one defeat in two recent friendly clashes against Iceland.
Chelsea forward Ji So-yun is undoubtedly the star of the South Korean team, with the 28-year-old having scored 49 goals at the international level to date. Elsewhere, midfielder Cho So-hyun will look to provide the creativity to unlock the defences of their Group A opponents, with the recent West Ham United signing having 120 caps to her name. Despite facing a tough start against host nation France, many are backing South Korea to progress to the Round of 16 once again.
Former World Cup winners Norway may not currently be the threat in which they once were, however the Scandinavian side still has the potential to be a threat in Group A. Head Coach Martin Sjögren has been in charge since 2016, leading Norway to an excellent qualifying campaign, in which they won seven of their eight matches, in a group that included the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Slovakia. The Grasshopppers conceded just four goals during qualifying, scoring 22 in the process.
Norway will be without 2019 Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg, who decided to make herself unavailable for the national team back in 2017 due to a dispute over how the NFF treat the women’s game. As a result, the pressure will be on striker Isabell Herlovsen to fill the void left by Hegerberg, with the 30-year-old having scored 55 goals for Norway to date. An opening round win over Nigeria is a must for Norway if they are to have any hope of making it through to the knockout phase in France.
Nigeria may be found down in 38th place in the world rankings, the African Cup of Nations champions may well surprise supporters in France. Making their eight appearance in the Finals, the Super Falcons best finish to date came back in 1999, where they made it through to the quarter finals. Head Coach Thomas Dennerby took over in 2018 following spells with a range of teams in his native Sweden, with the boss having many talented players to select from. Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Ini-Abasi Umotong could well form a formidable strike partnership in France. Nigeria come into the tournament off the back of a 2-1 friendly defeat at the hands of Canada.
2019 Women’s World Cup: Group A Odds
To Win Group A:
- France @1/4
- Norway @5/1
- South Korea @7/1
- Nigeria @33/1
World Cup Winner:
- France @10/3
- Norway @33/1
- South Korea @50/1
- Nigeria @500/1
Player of the Tournament:
- Amandine Henry (France) @4/1
- Eugénie Le Sommer (France) @6/1
- Ji So-yun (South Korea) @33/1
- Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway) @66/1