CHICAGO - The FIFA Women’s World Cup only happens once every four years, and whether you’re a soccer devotee or someone who just tunes in when the Cup comes around, you won’t want to miss the action. Never fear: We’ve got you covered.
Every day through the Final on August 20, FOX Digital will be breaking down the details on all the can’t-miss matches, players to watch and other essential details. What’s next: Some of the tournament’s most exciting teams fight for a ticket to the next round.
Watch the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup only on FOX and FS1.
Women’s World Cup matches on July 31, 2023
Day 11 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup features four matches.
- Costa Rica (0 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws) vs. Zambia (0-2-0) Final score: Zambia 3 Costa Rica 1
Watch the replay of Costa Rica vs. Zambia here
- Japan (2-0-0) vs. Spain (2-0-0) Final score: Japan 4 Spain 0
Watch the replay of Japan vs. Spain here
- Canada (1-0-1) vs. Australia (1-1-0) Final score: Australia 1 Canada 0
Watch the replay of Australia vs. Canada here
- Nigeria (1-0-1) vs. Republic of Ireland (0-2-0) Final score: Nigeria 0 Republic of Ireland 0
Watch the replay of Nigeria vs. Republic of Ireland here
For details on the results of concluded matches, scroll down to the ‘Soccer spoilers’ section.
Match spotlight: Canada vs. Australia (and Nigeria vs. Republic of Ireland)
Honestly, 75 percent of today’s matches could be called can’t-miss – apologies to Costa Rica and Zambia, but both teams have already been eliminated from advancing to the round of 16. So while we’re absolutely stoked to see the formidable teams from Spain and Japan square off, both countries are already guaranteed a spot in the next round; this match will determine which team wins group C. (If either team wins, they win the group; in the event of a draw, Switzerland will take all the marbles, based on goals. For more info, scroll down to the section titled "How does the elimination round work in the Women’s World Cup?")
And all that means that if you’re looking for suspense at the level of a sports movie in your daily World Cup viewing, you’ll want to keep your eyes trained to the day’s two group B matches – notably the showdown between the reigning Olympic champs from Canada and host country Australia’s mighty Matildas.
Neither Canada nor Australia, ranked 7th and 10th in the world respectively, have managed to rack up two wins in the group stage; the Canadians have an edge over the Aussies, as they’ve got one win and one draw. But while host countries have historically sailed through the first stage of the Women’s World Cup, the Matildas are teetering on the brink of elimination, thanks to an upset in their match against the ascendant Nigerian team (who also held the Canadians to a scoreless draw in their tournament opener).
So the Matildas have to win this one. If the match results in a draw, they’ll only make it through to the round of 16 if the Nigerian team loses or ties with the already-eliminated Irish side. So the big question is this: Will super-duper-star (and Aussie captain) Sam Kerr be healthy enough to play?
As for the Nigerians, they’ve got a shot to win group B… and they’re a lot of fun to watch, even if the Rep. of Ireland team is already out of the hunt. So sure, the big match of the day is between the Canadians and Australians, but you can safely consider both of these matches to be must-see TV.
Players to watch on July 31, 2023
Australia: Sam Kerr, striker (hopefully?)
The captain of Australia’s Matildas is a soccer giant: She’s a LEGO! She made the cover of the FIFA video game series! She’s made celebratory backflips iconic! And per FIFA, she’s one of only three players to have scored more than three goals in a Women's World Cup game, racking up four goals in a match against Jamaica in the 2019 cup. There are few players in the world this exciting – or this much fun to watch. And due to an injury sustained in training at the 11th hour, we’ve yet to see a single Kerr backflip in this Cup. Fingers crossed that today’s the day!
Australia: Ellie Carpenter, right fullback
But even if Kerr doesn’t take the pitch, there are plenty of exciting players on the Matildas – like this Aussie standout. Carpenter is a seasoned veteran at the ripe old age of 23, as she started her pro career at age 15 and, FIFA notes, became "the youngest female footballing Olympian at 16." A reliable contributor to Olympique Lyonnais, Carpenter arrives at this Cup having recently recovered from an ACL injury; FIFA praises the energetic player for being "as adept defensively as she is offensively," and notes that she "was one of few full-backs – and Australians – in each of the last four editions of ‘The 100 Best Female Footballers in the World’ by The Guardian."
Canada: Christine Sinclair, forward
FOX Sports, who says the 40-year-old Canadian captain is "one of the greatest soccer players of all time," has some mind-bending stats that should make her importance clear: She "currently holds the record — in men's and women's soccer — with 190 international goals in more than 300 matches." She’s hoping to become the first player, male or female, to score in six editions of the Cup (Brazilian legend Marta is chasing the same record). Icons have a tendency to be iconic!
Costa Rica: Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, forward
Portland Thorns star Cedeno, a.k.a. "Rocky," is her country’s all-time leading scorer. FOX Sports says she’s "in the prime of her career and a game-changer in central midfield," while FIFA calls her "the undisputed star of the Tica squad."
Republic of Ireland: Katie McCabe, midfielder/winger/wingback
This versatile player was named captain of the Irish in 2017 at the ripe old age of 21. A standout for the mighty Arsenal football club – this year she was named the Player of the Season for Arsenal, as well as delivering the score named Goal of the Season – she also scored the Irish side’s lone goal in the 2023 Cup (so far).
Nigeria: Asisat Oshoala, forward
The player FIFA calls "Africa’s all-time female GOAT" is not one to sleep on: the versatile Barcelona superstar and Ballon d'Or nominee has championship wins in her past, determination to spare and a mighty skill set. She’d been named CAF African Women’s Footballer of the Year a record five times, and FIFA notes that she’s somehow averaged roughly a goal per game in her four-plus seasons in Barcelona. Coach Randy Waldrum put it this way to FIFA: "When you have Oshoala, you have a chance against any team." Her thrilling goal against Australia in Nigeria’s second match of the tournament certainly backs up Waldrum’s argument.
Zambia: Barbra Banda, forward
The energetic captain of Zambia’s first World Cup-qualifying squad "exploded on to the world stage at the Olympic Games in 2021, scoring hat-tricks in Zambia’s opening two games of the tournament against the Netherlands and China PR," according to FIFA. Coach Bruce Mwape told the organization that Banda is "a fighter, a person who doesn’t like to lose, and one of our most dependable players".
Spain: Alexia Putellas, midfielder
This back-to-back Ballon d'Or winner is one of the best players on the planet, period. FIFA calls her a " skilful playmaker [who is] equipped with a mesmerizing left foot and an unerring ability to decisively affect matches by creating viable scoring opportunities for herself and her team-mates," while FOX Sports says that, like Beyoncé, Britney and Cher, "her one-name status as ‘Alexia’ is well-earned."
Japan: Saki Kumagai, defender
Japan and coach Futoshi Ikeda will be relying on this captain to steer the team toward victory – she’s the only member of the current Nadeshiko squad to play a role in Japan’s 2011 World Cup victory.
Where is the 2023 Women’s World Cup taking place?
The eyes (and cameras) of the world have turned toward host countries Australia and New Zealand.
In what time zone is the Women’s World Cup taking place?
Well, there's more than one time zone involved, as the battles for the Cup will take place in 10 stadiums in two countries. But suffice it to say that you're looking at times that are anywhere from 12 hours (for matches in Perth, Australia) to 16 hours (all New Zealand-based matches) ahead of EST.
That means some matches – like Nigeria vs. Canada, the first match of day two (July 21) – will be played early in the day locally but air on what's technically the evening before in the U.S. (in this case, July 20). Who said there's no such thing as time travel?
Where can you stream the FIFA Women’s World Cup?
We’re living in the future, baby! All matches will be live-streamed on FOXSports.com and via the FOX Sports app, and full replays will also be available. So if you’re not into watching soccer at 3 a.m., you’re covered!
How can I watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup on live TV?
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will air on FOX and FS1. The complete schedule awaits your perusal at FOXSports.com. In addition to all FIFA Women’s World Cup matches, head to your preferred FOX platform for game highlights, replays, stats, player stories, analysis and more.
How does the elimination round work in the Women’s World Cup?
Good question! As with the men’s World Cup, it’s a wee bit complicated. The 32 qualifying teams have been split into eight groups, each assigned a letter (A-H). In the first round, the groups compete against each other: each "side" (team) will participate in three in-group matches. A win is worth three points, a draw worth one point and a loss is worth (you guessed it) zero points.
At the end of the round, the top two teams (as determined by point total) in each group proceed to the knockout round. That’s 16 teams total.
When does Team USA play next?
After their July 27 draw with the Netherlands, Alex Morgan, Lindsay Horan and company will square off against Portugal on August 1.
Soccer spoilers: today's results
Nigeria vs. Republic of Ireland: Nigeria did just enough to hold Ireland to a scoreless tie at 0-0, a result that sends Nigeria on to the knockout round. Ireland's time in the Women's World Cup comes to a close.
Costa Rica vs. Zambia: Both teams had already been eliminated from contention prior to the match, but Zambia and Costa Rica put on a show nonetheless. Zambia pulled ahead at the very start with the country's first-ever World Cup goal, and extended its lead before the half. The Costa Rican squad came back in the second half with a goal to try and catch up, but they were unable to close the gap, which Zambia extended with a third goal in stoppage time.
Japan vs. Spain: Japan and Spain entered with two wins and thus made this match one to decide the winner of Group C. Surprisingly, one team had no issues, but it was not the betting favorite, as Japan raced out to a three-goal lead right before halftime. That would be all Japan needed and eventually led to a 4-0 win. Hinata Miyazawa scored the first goal for Japan and then collected her second right before the end of the first half. The impressive performance set Japan up to clash with Norway, which is coming off a decisive win of its own, in the Knockout Stage.
Australia vs. Canada: Hayley Raso gave the Australians the first goal of the match! Australia nearly doubled its lead, but Canadien keeper Kailen Sheridan made the save. Australia. — the host of the tournament — is the No. 10 ranked team in the world, according to FIFA, while Canada is ranked No. 7.
Watch this space!
Watch the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup only on FOX and FS1.