Warming up is essential. If you don’t you go in under prepared and liable to pulling a muscle. We don’t need any of that at the Olympics, so we’ve got you covered. Prepare for the Olympic feast with a dive into the history books. We take a look at the rivalries found in the group stages.
USA v Sweden
Another tournament, another group stage and another USA v Sweden pairing. Two traditional heavy weights, who seemingly have a magnetic effect of always drawing one another.
The giants know how to entertain in fiercely fought battles. Nothing went wrong for the USWNT in France 2019, including a convincing 2-nil win against a well performing Sweden.
When the pair met in the knockout stages of the 2016 Olympics, there was chaos. With the scoreline squared at 1-all, the resulting penalty shoot out was won by Sweden. Perhaps it was the off field antics that have lingered longer, with post match comments by Hope Solo pulling the curtains on the goalkeeping great’s international career.
Can Sweden once again haunt the USWNT in their quest for more gold? Or will the USWNT remain an unstoppable force?
Australia v New Zealand
The old foe’s meet once again, but this time on the big stage of the Olympics. Just because this is the first time the two will meet on such a stage doesn’t mean this tie isn’t dripped in history. If you’re from either country, you know no matter the sporting code there’s a deep set rivalry between the Aussies and Kiwis.
Historically Australia and New Zealand were kept at an arm’s length from each other at major tournaments, knocking one another out in Oceania qualification until Australia bounced to Asia. Since 2006 pure luck has separated the two teams.
From the early days of women’s soccer, with the first Trans-Tasman series, right through to recent World Cup preparation of the FFA Cup of Nations, the competition between the pair has been fierce.
Both nations are at different stages of transition. The Matildas now have an established squad who have been to multiple major tournaments, despite recent coaching changes. The Ferns have a core of vastly experienced players, but are otherwise bringing in a new generation of fresh faces who were bronze medalists in the under-17 World Cup in 2018.
Being joint World Cup hosts only adds further spice to the match up.