USA and France made chump meat out of their opening day assignments in the 2016 Rio Olympics women’s soccer tournament. The Americans notched a 2-0 victory over New Zealand at Belo Horizonte on Wednesday, while the French demolished Colombia 4-0.
Only one team from Group G will remain without a loss this weekend. USA and France are scheduled to face off at Belo Horizonte on Saturda.
USA lead all nations in the FIFA Women’s Ranking. The team is arguably the most successful international women’s soccer squad in history. The Americans currently hold three Women’s World Cup trophies, four Olympic women’s gold medals and ten Algarve Cups.
According to Five Thirty Eight’s Women’s Soccer Power Index, USA, who are the reigning and three-time defending world champion, have a 38 percent chance of claiming gold in this year’s Summer Games. That is double the odds of world No. 2 Germany.
France, the world’s No. 3 in women’s soccer, are a force to be reckoned with in its own right. Les Bleues dominated the Colombians during their Wednesday showdown by tallying three goals before the half. Midfielder Amel Majri closed the scoring in the 82nd minute with an unbelievable goal off the top post.
USA and France each have 3 points in Group G. France presently leads the group with a +4 goal differential. USA is in second place with a +2 goal differential. Both squads know better than to take their opponents lightly. Seeding can change dramatically after every match.
Teams are bracketed into three groups of four countries. Each national squad play every team in their group once. Only the top two squads per group will have guaranteed spots in the quarter-final round of the tournament. The top two third-placers will also make it out of the group stages.
The winner of Group G will face the third-runner up from either Group E or F. Meanwhile, the second-runner up from Group G will take on the winner of Group F.
If France maintains its lead, it could face either South Africa or Australia in the next round. If Les Bleus fall to second place, they ran the potential risk of facing Germany early in the tournament.