New Zealand wants to build on ‘Fern Fever.’ Norway needs a comeback.

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New Zealand, the World Cup’s co-host, has an opportunity to take one other massive step ahead on Tuesday.

Days after it earned the primary World Cup victory within the crew’s historical past, New Zealand is aware of a win over the Philippines in Wellington would successfully guarantee that the Soccer Ferns, because the crew is thought, will attain the knockout rounds for the primary time.

In Tuesday’s different video games, Colombia and South Korea will turn into the final of the 32 groups to take the sphere, and Norway — overwhelmed by New Zealand in its opener — will attempt to proper itself towards Switzerland.

Colombia is coming off a powerful efficiency within the Copa América Championship, the place it beat Argentina within the semifinals and fell to Brazil within the remaining, 1-0. These outcomes recommend a readiness to contend on the world stage.

However that competitiveness might have gone too far in a latest exhibition towards Eire: That match was known as off after 20 minutes for what the Irish labeled “overly bodily” play from the Colombians. Colombia rejected that characterization and defended its fashion; it stated the Irish merely “most well-liked to not proceed taking part in.”

Colombia will face South Korea, the runner-up to China within the 2022 Asian Cup, on Tuesday in Sydney, Australia, (10 p.m. Monday Jap time). The South Koreans have made it to the knockout levels as soon as in three earlier World Cup appearances, in 2015. 4 years in the past, the Koreans misplaced all three of their video games.

New Zealand’s gamers shocked many individuals — together with themselves — by upsetting Norway, 1-0, within the opening match of the World Cup.

Now, the Ferns discover themselves in new territory: in a good place for a path past the group stage, a checkpoint not reached in 5 earlier journeys to the event.

The most important impediment to advancing, in actual fact, could also be behind them. Norway entered the event twelfth in FIFA rankings, whereas the Philippines is forty sixth. New Zealand is twenty sixth, however now using a wave of so-called Fern Fever, and looking out ahead to a different night time in entrance of a pleasant crowd.

The Philippines misplaced, 2-0, to Switzerland in its World Cup debut. Its crew attracts closely from the US — 18 gamers on the squad’s 23-women roster, in actual fact, had been born in America — and makes no excuses about that.

“I don’t actually care the place they’re born,” the crew’s Australian coach, Alen Stajcic, stated. “If they’ve Philippines of their coronary heart and of their blood, they usually’re good at soccer, then they’re eligible for our crew.

“All of them play for his or her flag, all of them play for his or her nation, all of them play for the folks within the Philippines, wherever they reside.”

Norway is trying to bounce again from its opening loss and doubtless wants a win towards Switzerland, after which one other towards the Philippines, to make sure it goes by way of to the knockouts.

The Norwegians are led by Ada Hegerberg, the 28-year-old striker — and former world participant of the 12 months — who sat out the 2019 World Cup in protest of her federation’s remedy of ladies’s soccer. Hegerberg, among the finest gamers within the sport, was absent from the nationwide crew for 5 years earlier than returning for the European Championship final summer time. However she was surprisingly ineffective towards New Zealand, and that gained’t do towards the Swiss.

Switzerland dominated the Philippines of their opener, outshooting their opponents by 17-3. They’re unlikely to have the identical benefit over the Norwegians. Ramona Bachmann, who performs her membership soccer for Paris St.-Germain, was the standout participant in her crew’s opening win. She is going to want the same efficiency right this moment to maintain Switzerland shifting ahead.

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