FIFA Women's World Cup - Format - Final Tournament

Final Tournament

The current final tournament features 16 national teams competing over about three weeks in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.

In the group stage, teams compete within four groups of four teams each. In the group stage, 16 teams seeded into four groups (A,B,C, and D) compete against each other in a round-robin tournament. After Germany trounced Argentina 11–0 in the opening game of the 2007 World Cup, FIFA president Sepp Blatter conceded that the one-sided match was "not good for the game" and was something that FIFA would consider in deciding whether or not to expand the group phase to 24 teams. On 3 December 2009, FIFA decided to expand the women's World Cup to 24 teams for 2015.

Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams.The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994, three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).

The ranking of each team in each group is determined as follows:

  1. Greatest number of points in group matches
  2. Greatest goal difference in group matches
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in group matches
  4. If more than one team remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined as follows:
    1. Greatest number of points in head-to-head matches among those teams
    2. Greatest goal difference in head-to-head matches among those teams
    3. Greatest number of goals scored in head-to-head matches among those teams
  5. If any of the teams above remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined by the drawing of lots

The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It begins with the round of 8 (or the second round) in which the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. This is followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.

Read more about this topic:  FIFA Women's World Cup, Format

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