Australia and Japan are the twins of Asian women’s football. Among the 37 women’s soccer member countries of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), these are the two countries with the highest FIFA (International Football Federation) world rankings (as of June 9, 2023). Australia is in 10th place (1919.69 points), and Japan is in 11th place (1916.68 points) with a narrow difference (3.01 points).
As proof of this, the two countries also show the pride of Asian football in the 2023 Australia-New Zealand FIFA Women’s World Cup. They are standing side by side in the quarterfinals, the second stage of the knockout stage.
In this World Cup, which is unfolding with Europe’s strength, the two countries do not intend to stop their upward momentum as the bastions of Asian football. In particular, Japan is the only one in the quarterfinals to win four consecutive victories, and is considered a strong candidate for the championship. England and Sweden, who posted three consecutive victories in the group stage, passed the gates of the round of 16 with a penalty shootout victory, and the light fades somewhat. In the round of 16, England and Sweden defeated Nigeria (4-2) and the United States (5-4) on penalties, respectively.
Australia and Japan, which unleashed their potential to the fullest, are highly regarded as having accumulated enough power to surpass the championship. The odds of winning are just one facet of it. In the ranking of odds of winning published by Opta Analyst, a media specializing in sports statistics, after the quarterfinals were confirmed, Australia and Japan were ranked second (15.46%) and fourth (13.28%), respectively. Looking at the FIFA world rankings, compared to the fact that they are ranked 6th and 7th among the countries advancing to the quarterfinals, it shows that they are highly regarded and are close to the top.
Australia and Japan inflate ambitions to build Asian football pride on the rise
Looking at the quarterfinals of the Australia-New Zealand World Cup, it is felt again that ‘Europe is the home of football’. There are five member countries of the UEFA (European Football Confederation). After that, AFC (2) and CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation 1) lined up. In terms of appearance, even if AFC with Australia and Japan put together and CONMEBOL, which Colombia is enduring, they are inferior to 3-5. It is also behind the FIFA world rankings. Even the Netherlands (9th, 1980.47), which is the lowest in the FIFA rankings among the five countries, is ahead of the three countries (Australia, Japan, and Colombia).
However, this ranking was made 2 months ago. In the World Cup, which competes for supremacy in a short-term game in the group-knockout stage format, not a pennant race, the FIFA world rankings are only for reference. The United States (2090.03 points), the world number 1 player in the FIFA World Ranking, who was aiming for an unprecedented three-straight victory, suffered bitter disappointment in the round of 16, and Germany (2061.56 points), who dreamed of conquering the third summit, each suffered bitter disappointment in the group round. It is the ‘illusion of ranking’.
In comparison, the odds of winning are more realistic. This is because it is a statistic calculated based on objective history and major tournament results, as well as performance and flow shown in this World Cup and opponents’ records.
In this context, it is reasonable that England (2040.76 points), 4th in the FIFA World Ranking, is the only country with a score in the 20% range (27.3) and is ranked first in the championship (see table). England, which has succeeded in a steady generational change in recent years, is enjoying its heyday, such as reaching the top of the 2022 UEFA Women’s Championship held in its home country. Dutch coach Sarina Wichmann is considered one of the best coaches in women’s football. In addition, it is well known that the power built by the best players in each position is very solid.
Therefore, based on the probability of winning, it seems that Australia and Japan, which are showing off an upward trend in this World Cup, can sufficiently show that Asia is at the top of the world in women’s soccer. In terms of bracket, Australia and Japan can only meet in the final. And that possibility cannot be ruled out at all. At least one country seems to be able to show off the potential of Asian football by reaching the final stage.
Japan is a slightly more advantageous itinerary than Australia. Sweden, who will face off in the quarterfinals, is again the key. If Spain overcomes this hurdle, it is considered that it will be a rather easy bout for Spain, which is likely to come up against the Netherlands. Although the odds of winning are somewhat behind third-place Spain (14.97%), Japan has a pleasant experience in the group stage (C) round and won 4-0.먹튀검증
Moreover, in this World Cup, Japan is showing off its best offensive and defensive power. It was an outstanding balance between offense and defense, scoring 14 goals in 4 games (average 3.5 points per game) and Zarin Gobi defense, conceding only 1 goal (average 0.25 points per game).
Australia, which has the advantage of a home ground, is a thorny field compared to Japan. The match against France in the quarterfinals is also not easy, and if we break through this barrier, we will meet England, who will easily defeat Colombia. In this case, it is a bout that seems to be the de facto final of this World Cup, with the probability of winning 1-2 ranks.
Can the day come when Australia and Japan meet in the final stage to compete for supremacy and show off the prestige of Asian football to the world?