Olympic Games | The Guardian
And so it begins! Soccer is the second Olympic discipline to begin, and this is the first game of the soccer tournament (but the fourth game of the Olympics, after three softball games before) so we’re very early promoters on board the Tokyo 2020/21 train. I think we all agree, it’s all very exciting.
Let’s deal with format issues first. The women’s competition is made up of 12 teams, divided into three groups of four. From these groups, the two first-placed winners automatically advance to the quarter-finals, together with the two best third-placed winners. These groups are absurdly called Groups E, F and G (Groups A, B, C and D are full of men’s teams and play in a different competition). The UK’s group is the first, which includes Chile, Japan and Canada. Team GB only meets every four years so they don’t have a world ranking, but England is six years old and has theoretically been bolstered by a small transfusion of extra talent. Chile is 37, Japan 10 and Canada 8. In other words, if they advance this is a game Britain is looking to win.
In addition to Chile, they also have to struggle with heat (around 30 ° C according to the forecast) and high humidity. But they seem confident. “I think we have to go for gold,” said Caroline Weir, one of two Scots and only three non-English players in the 22-man squad. “Of course we know that the challenges are ahead of us. It’s going to be a tough tournament. And there are all of the things that we’re going to struggle with. But the squad is talented. We have to look for gold and see what happens. “
The other groups, with Fifa rankings in brackets, are as follows:
Group F: China (15), Brazil (7), Zambia (104), Netherlands (4)
Group G: Sweden (5), USA (1), Australia (9), New Zealand (22)
China-Brazil and Sweden-USA will have started within an hour of kick-off, and that’s when it starts. Well, after the opening ceremony on Friday, things really get going. This is really just a little foretaste. Anyway, and most importantly, welcome! Let’s do this Olympic thing!