Image: Wikimedia Commons / Gary Howden
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Gary Howden

Tokyo 2020: Great Britain advance into women’s football quarter-finals

Great Britain will face Australia in the quarter-finals of the women’s Olympic football tournament after topping Group E at the Tokyo Games.

Hege Riise’s side enter the knockout phase on the opposite side of the bracket to the United States of America, with Japan or Sweden awaiting Team GB in the final four if they find a way to defeat Sam Kerr and the Socceroos.

Great Britain qualified for the quarter-finals by securing seven points from three games during the group stage, defeating Chile 2-0 to open their campaign in Sapporo. Ellen White added to her brace against Chile in the second game of the tournament, scoring Team GB’s only goal in their win over hosts Japan.

However, it took a late equaliser in Great Britain’s final game of the group stage to secure their status as the top seed, with Riise’s heavily rotated side drawing 1-1 with Canada. The result was also enough to see the Canadians through, with Japan progressing from Group E as one of the tournament’s best third-placed sides. 

“There are always things you want to improve on, we have played three games against three good opponents and have performed better and better,” Riise said following her side’s draw with Canada. “We haven’t been together that long so we’ll improve every game. Overall, we looked strong and confident and that will be important going forward.”

Elsewhere, the Netherlands edged out Brazil to top Group G, while Sweden, Team USA, and Australia advanced from Group F.

In the men’s competition, the final round of group stage fixtures saw Argentina, Germany, and France eliminated from the tournament.

The hosts were the first team to qualify for the last eight, with Takefusa Kubo scoring in Japan’s wins over Mexico, France, and South Africa. Mexico, the only side to score against the Samurai Blue, also qualified for the knockout stage after France 4-1 and South Africa 3-0.

In Group B, South Korea secured top spot with six points from the nine available, with New Zealand – led by West Ham centre-back Winston Reid – advancing as the second seed.

Despite opening their campaign with a historic 2-0 win over Argentina, Australia failed to advance from Group C after losing to Spain and Egypt. However, the Argentines also crashed out, with Spain topping the group and Egypt qualifying in second position.

Finally, Brazil topped Group D thanks to five goals from Everton forward Richarlison with the Ivory Coast also progressing at the expense of Germany and Saudi Arabia.


The draws for the knockout phase of the men’s and women’s football tournaments at the Tokyo Olympics are as follows:

Women’s Bracket:

Quarter-Finals:

Great Britain v Australia 

Sweden v Japan

Netherlands v USA 

Canada v Brazil 

Semi-Finals:

Great Britain or Australia v Sweden or Japan

Netherlands or USA v Canada or Brazil

Men’s Bracket:

Quarter-Finals:

Japan v New Zealand

South Korea v Mexico 

Spain v Ivory Coast

Brazil v Egypt

Semi-Finals:

Japan or New Zealand v Spain or Ivory Coast

South Korea or Mexico v Brazil or Egypt

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