The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) did not begin off the Olympic soccer event the way in which they’d hoped, with a 3-0 loss to Sweden. Whereas for the informal fan that may look like the tip of the highway for the reigning World Cup champs, that is removed from the case. Reasonably than single eliminations, the Olympic soccer event begins with just a few days of spherical robin-style play that in the end determines whether or not a workforce will transfer ahead to the knockout rounds. This is what you might want to know in regards to the event’s format and the way the USWNT can keep their gold medal hopes alive.
How Does Olympic Soccer Work?
The primary spherical known as the group stage, and it consists of some days of spherical robin play. For the ladies’s event, the groups are sorted into three teams of 4 groups every. (The lads’s event has 4 teams as an alternative of three.) Over the course of the group stage, all of the groups in a given group will play all the opposite groups of their group. On the finish of the group stage, the highest two groups in every group, plus the 2 highest-ranked third-place groups total, will advance to the knockout stage, the place, because the title suggests, one loss can knock a workforce out of the event.
It is not simply wins and losses that matter within the group stage, nonetheless. In accordance with the official FIFA rules for the Olympic soccer event, factors are assigned to groups all through the group stage, and the purpose whole is what in the end determines the rating and who strikes on. To begin, three factors are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If that is not enough to obviously rank the groups and decide which two groups from a gaggle transfer on, then the next standards are utilized as tiebreakers, on this order, till the tie is damaged:
- Largest purpose differential in all group matches
- Biggest variety of targets scored in all group matches
- Biggest variety of factors obtained within the matches performed between the groups involved
- Largest purpose differential within the matches performed between the groups involved
- Biggest variety of targets scored within the matches performed between the groups involved
- Highest workforce conduct rating in all group matches (factors are deducted for yellow and purple playing cards)
Solely the primary two standards — after which lastly, honest play factors — are used to interrupt a tie between the best rating third-place groups, who have not but confronted one another within the event. From there, all certified groups transfer on to the quarterfinals, the place they face single elimination. 4 groups advance to the semifinals, the outcomes of which decide which two groups will face off within the gold medal match and which can compete for bronze.
For that reason, it is necessary not only for groups to win within the group stage, but additionally for the successful groups to keep up as extensive of a scoring margin as attainable (and for shedding groups to do the other). That is why the USWNT’s 3-0 loss to Sweden of their first match was undoubtedly not what they have been hoping for: a loss with a comparatively massive scoring hole. It is nonetheless attainable for them to bounce again, particularly if they can pull off solid wins in opposition to New Zealand (on July 24) and Australia (on July 27). We’ll be rooting for them!
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