Average Group Ranking: 27.5
Average Group Ranking: 27.5
Three of teams are ranked in FIFA’s Top 10 but the underdogs can always cause teams trouble. While Canada will be favourites to return as favourites after winning a bronze in London four years ago, Australia and Germany will prove hard to beat after their performance in the past year.
All three groups show little room to move but while some can guess who will make it out of the group, it is anyone’s guess about which position they will finish in.
Coach: Silva Neid
Average Age: 25.3
Average Caps: 61.61
Last 5 matches: W (GHA), W (CRO), W (TUR), L (USA), W (ENG)
Key Players: Dzenifer Maroszan (MF), Almuth Schult (GK), Saskia Bartusiak (DF), Anja Mittag (FW)
There are three words which can sum up the German team; ruthless, intense and perfection. The 2013 European and 2007 World Cup Champions are back at the Olympics after failing to make London 2012.
Their Olympic record is consistent as they managed to finish third in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. After Germany finished 4th in the World Cup last year, they will mean business in their opening game to Zimbabwe. They qualified through their position in the World Cup last year.
But with one of the oldest teams in the group, experience could count for them making it out of the group. However without goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who announced her retirement at the end of the World Cup, it will be interesting to see if Behringer can take over from her.
Coach: Alen Stajcic
Average Age: 23.67
Average Caps: 47.61
Last 5 matches: L (BRA), D (NZL), W (NZL), D (CHN), W (DPR)
Key Players: Katrina Gorry (MF), Lydia Williams (GK), Steph Catley (DF), Kyah Simon (FW)
Australia has rised up the rankings since their efforts in the 2015 World Cup in Canada where they defeated Brazil in a quarter-finals. They became the first senior football team to make it to semi finals of a World Cup.
They went undefeated in the qualifiers and shocked Asia in the process. They have not made an Olympics Athens 2004 and after two attempts it was a bittersweet moment for the current squad. They have the youngest team in the group and caps as Alan Stajcic not only picks experience but talent as well.
While a year ago Stajcic focused on the forward pack it will be about the defence this time round. The defensive line needs to be in sync and they could win the side a game once they get to the harder games.
Coach: John Herdman
Average Age: 25.5
Average Caps: 73.72 Last 5 matches:
Last 5 matches:D (FRA), W (BRA), L (BRA), W (NLD), W (BRA)
Key Players: Diana Matheson (MF), Stephanie Labbé (GK), Rhian Wilkinson (DF), Christine Sinclair (FW)
Canada has one of the oldest and most experience teams in the group and with a bronze medal under their belt from London 2012. Despite their lower ranking, Canada will be a threat to the other group contenders. They lost to the USA to be able to claim first in their CONCACAF but it was the only game they lost while qualifying.
“It will be about producing personal bests, and I believe that the combination of the young players that we’ve brought into the team and the culture that’s been created by the veterans,” head coach John Herdman told Canada Soccer.
The culture of team along with the experience will be vital for them overcoming Australia and Germany who are ranked in the Top 5.
Coach: Shadreck Mlauzi
Average Age: 25.17
Average Caps: N/A
Last 5 matches: L (RSA), W (ZMB), W (ZMB), D (TZA), W (TZA)
Key Players: Rejoice Kapfumvuti (MF), Chido Dringirai (GK), Shiela Makoto (DF), Rudo Neshamba (FW)
It was a complete surprise when Zimbabwe qualified for the Olympics as they became the team to qualify for a global tournament. This is the likely result of financial backing as the local media highlighted the financial plight of the women’s team.
They almost did not make the tournament after failing to fulfil a qualifying fixture against the Ivory Coast and disqualified them from competition. Zimbabwe Football Association did not have the money to send the team to the Ivory Coast but they were allowed to compete after the Ivory Coast pulled out of the second leg because of financial problems.
Women’s football in Zimbabwe is described as structurally “haphazard”. They have no national league and nothing concrete for sponsors to attach their money to. But against all odds they made it this far and the rest will be an experience and a half.
3 August: Canada v Australia (São Paulo, 3pm)
3 August: Zimbabwe v Germany (São Paulo, 6pm)
6 August: Canada v Zimbabwe (São Paulo, 3pm)
6 August: Germany v Australia (São Paulo, 6pm)
9 August: Germany v Canada (Brasilia, 4pm)
9 August: Australia v Zimbabwe (Salvador, 4pm)