Ahead of football’s most prestigious competition, here are the key things to know about Group B for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
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As hosts Australia and New Zealand prepare to anchor the biggest football tournament in the world, the most prestigious prize in football is at stake.
On 20 July 2023, both host nations will begin the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In Group B, Australia will face the Republic of Ireland in its first game.
Group B will be completed by current Olympic champions Canada and Nigeria on 21 July 2023.
In advance of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, here is everything you need to know about Group B.
Group B Preview
The Matildas will be eager to finish the competition on a high note after being knocked out on penalties by Norway in the round of 16 of the 2019 edition.
Tony Gustavsson, a former USWNT assistant coach, has been Australia’s manager since 2019, and so far this calendar year, they have only lost once.
In April 2023, the Matildas defeated European Champions – and one of the favorites for this year’s World Cup – England 2-0. Australia’s determination to prove themselves on the world stage was strengthened by the Lionesses suffering a defeat for the first time in 30 games.
Ahead of the delayed Tokyo Olympics, Canada has a good chance of making it out of Group B. Prior to their Olympic success, they crashed out of the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup to Sweden.
Despite losing 1-0 to the United States in the final at the 2022 CONCACAF, Canadian midfielder Julia Grosso won the Golden Boot and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan won the Golden Glove.
After failing to qualify for previous editions, the Republic of Ireland will compete in its first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
As well as beating Georgia 9-0, Finland, Slovakia and Scotland 1-0, they qualified for the tournament.
As tournament debutants, the Republic of Ireland have their work cut out for them if they are to make it out of Group B after a string of good results in the last year.
The Nigerian women’s team will aim to go one step further than they did at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019 when they lost to Germany in the round of 16.
As preparation for this summer’s tournament, the Super Falcons defeated hosts New Zealand 3-0 in a recent friendly.
Players to Watch out
There are two players in particular to watch out for in Group B, in addition to Aussie captain Sam Kerr.
As a key member of Emma Hayes’ unbeatable setup over the last three years, the Canadian midfielder has just won her third consecutive Women’s Super League title with Chelsea.
Against the United States in the Tokyo Olympics, Fleming scored the only goal of the game – a penalty – to send Canadian football into its first ever Olympic final.
She has been voted Canadian Player of the Year since her gold medal performances in Tokyo and even captained Canada at the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup when Christine Sinclair was unavailable.
If her country is to advance further than ever before at this summer’s tournament, Fleming will be indispensable.
Asisat Oshoala will be Nigeria’s key to success at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup following her unbeaten, title-winning season with club Barcelona.
In 89 appearances for club Barcelona, the 28-year-old forward has scored 83 goals. He has also scored 83 goals for Nigeria.
As one of the greatest African female football players of all time, Oshoala has been named African Women’s Footballer of the Year a record five times.
While she has played as a forward for most of her career, she has recently settled into more of an attacking midfield role when playing for Nigeria.
As this will be Oshoala’s third FIFA Women’s World Cup, she’ll be hungry for more success.
Group B Schedule
20 July 2023: Australia v Republic of Ireland, 20:00 KO at Stadium Australia
21 July 2023: Nigeria v Canada, 12:30 KO at AAMI Park
26 July 2023: Canada v Republic of Ireland, 22:00 KO at Perth Rectangular Stadium
27 July 2023: Australia v Nigeria, 20:00 KO at Lang Park
31 July 2023: Republic of Ireland v Nigeria, 20:00 KO at Lang Park
31 July 2023: Canada v Australia, 20:00 KO at AAMI Park
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