The United States started its bid for an unprecedented three-peat at the Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 win over Vietnam. Winning a third straight title won’t be easy for the No. 1 team in the world.
Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the quadrennial tournament for international soccer’s most coveted trophy kicked off July 20 and features an expanded field of 32 teams, up from 24. There are 64 matches during the tournament.
That means more competition for the two-time defending World Cup champion U.S., which won the 2015 event in Canada and the 2019 tournament in France. The Americans have won four titles overall, most of any nation.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP RESULTS
Amanda Ilestedt scored in the 89th minute to give Sweden a 2-1 win over South Africa in its Group G opener at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday
Stefanie van der Gragt’s 13th-minute header led Netherlands to a 1-0 win over Portugal on Sunday as the 2019 finalists began their tournament run.
Jamaica produced one of the biggest surprises of the Women’s World Cup so far by holding France to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
Brazil will take an 8-0 win-loss record in Women’s World Cup opening matches into its first Group F match against Panama at Adelaide on Monday at 8:30 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET)
Argentina holds the men’s World Cup but has never won a game at the women’s edition. La Albiceleste is aiming to end that drought against Italy in Group G match at 6 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET ) in Auckland.
Morocco, the first Arab nation to play in the Women’s World Cup, open Group H against two-time champion Germany in Melbourne at 6:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET).
On Tuesday, Colombia takes on South Korea in Group H at 12 noon local time (10 p.m. Monday ET ) in Melbourne to wrap up the first games for all 32 teams in the tournament. The two Group A games will follow with co-host New Zealand against Philippines at Wellington at 5:30 p.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET ) and Switzerland against Norway at 8 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) in Hamilton.
HOW TO WATCH THE FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Fox holds the English-language media rights in the United States for the Women’s World Cup. Telemundo holds the Spanish-language rights.
Fox will broadcast a record 29 matches over the air on its main network and the rest of the games will be aired on FS1. All matches will be streamed on the Fox app.
FIFA struck a collective deal with the European Broadcasting Union in mid-June, ending a standoff with a broadcasters in five major European television markets. The deal guarantees the games will air in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.
A second major security incident in Auckland in the first three days of the Women’s World Cup unfolded when the New Zealand’s national team had to be evacuated from a downtown hotel after several small fires broke out. Police say a 34-year-old man has been charged with burglary and arson and is due to appear in Auckland District Court on Monday.
When Nouhaila Benzina steps onto the field for Morocco’s opening match against Germany, she will be the first player to wear the Islamic headscarf at the senior-level Women’s World Cup.
The United States is a +240 favorite to win the World Cup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. After the opening three days of the tournament, England is next at +470 followed by Spain +550.
There’s also a big group of teams the oddsmakers say have little chance of lifting the trophy, including Vietnam, Zambia, Costa Rica, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Haiti and Panama. All are at +43,000.