One of the most dominant nations in women’s football Germany is a favourite to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and is featured in Group H.
Consisting alongside the European giants are Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finalists Morocco, Colombia and South Korea who look to prove a point at this year’s tournament.
So what is there to expect from these four nations Down Under? Jullian Sardana looks ahead at what these teams can offer.
Previous Women’s World Cup appearances: 8 (last in 2019)
2019 Tournament: Quarterfinals (Lost to Sweden 2-1)
Best Finish: Won back-to-back Women’s World Cup (2003 and 2007)
Nickname: DFB-Frauen (DFB-Women)
Manager: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany)
World Ranking: 2nd
Germany has their eyes on the coveted Women’s World Cup trophy after an early exit at the 2019 World Cup where they lost in the Quarterfinals to Sweden and a heartbreaking loss to England in the Euros final last year. Voss-Tecklenburg has called up a largely unchanged squad which provides experience and exciting young talent at this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Key Player: Alexandra Popp
Club: Wolfsburg (Germany)
The Captain of the Women’s German national team; Alexandra Popp will be crucial to the side both on and off the pitch. The Wolfsburg player is one of the most influential players in German football and will hope to continue her great goal-scoring from EURO 2022 where she became the first player to score a goal in every group match as well as the quarter and semi-final.
Breakout Star: Lena Oberdorf
Club: Wolfsburg (Germany)
A fellow teammate of Popp at Wolfsburg, Lena Oberdorf is a definitive one to watch at the World Cup. She was named in the FIFPRO Women’s World11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards and also won the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s Champions League Young Player of the Season award.
Voss-Tecklenburg is aware of her ability as a leader and is already considered to be extremely mature at such a young age. Who knows, when Popp has called time on her career, Oberdorf could be next in line to wear the Captain’s armband for Germany at a major tournament.
Goalkeepers: Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea), Merle Frohms (Wolfsburg), Stina Johannes (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defenders: Sara Doorsoun (Eintracht Frankfurt), Chantal Hagel (Wolfsburg), Marina Hegering (Wolfsburg), Kathrin Hendrich (Wolfsburg), Sophia Kleinherne (Eintracht Frankfurt), Sjoeke Nusken (Chelsea), Felcitas Rauch (Wolfsburg)
Midfielders: Jule Brand (Wolfsburg), Sara Dabritz (Lyon), Svenja Huth (Wolfsburg), Lena Lattwein (Wolfsburg), Melanie Leupolz (Chelsea), Sydney Lohmann (Bayern Munich), Lina Magull (Bayern Munich), Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg)
Forwards: Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg), Lea Schuller (Bayern Munich), Klara Buhl (Bayern Munich), Nicole Anyomi (Eintract Frankfurt), Laura Freigang (Eintracht Frankfurt).
July 24: GERMANY v Morocco (Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne/Naarm, 6:30pm)
July 30: GERMANY v Colombia (Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney/Gadigal, 7:30pm)
August 3: Korea Republic v GERMANY (Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane/Meaanjin, 8pm)
Previous Women’s World Cup appearances: N/A
2019 Tournament: Did not qualify
Best Finish: N/A
Nickname: Lionesses of Atlas
Manager: Reynald Pedros (France)
World Ranking: 72nd
Morocco are set to compete in their first-ever Women’s World Cup and will also become the first Arab team to do so. Coming into this tournament, they made the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations final last year only losing to South Africa 2-1. But along the way to the final, they defeated countries such as Botswana in the quarters and Nigeria in the semi-final. Despite being their maiden appearance, Morocco will look to make the most of their opportunity hopefully to replicate something similar to what the men’s team did in December.
Key Player: Ghizlane Chebbak
Club: ASFAR (Morocco)
Ghizlane Chebbak will be captaining Morocco in their maiden appearance at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. She played a key role in their WAFCON 2022 campaign where she was awarded player of the group stage.
The 32-year-old has said in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup, “Our aim is to compete with the biggest teams at the tournament.”
Breakout Star: Nesryne El Chad
Club: Lille (France)
There is a lot to look forward to regarding Nesryne El Chad at the Women’s World Cup this year. She currently plays for Lille at club level and was crucial throughout the course of the qualification matches. She has formed a strong defensive partnership with fellow compatriot Yasmin Mrabet displaying a commanding presence on the field.
Only 20 years old, El Chad has a lot to show on the World’s biggest stage at is now living her dream of representing the senior squad at a major tournament.
Goalkeepers: Ines Arouaissa (Cannes), Khadija Er-Rmichi (ASFAR), Assia Zouhair (SCCM)
Defenders: Hanane Ait El Haj (ASFAR), Nouhaila Benzina (ASFAR), Nesryne El Chad (Lille), Rkia Mazrouai (Charleroi), Yasmin Mrabet (Levante), Zineb Redouani (ASFAR), Sabah Seghir (Sampdoria)
Midfielders: Najat Badri (ASFAR), Anissa Lahmari (Guingamp), Sarah Kassi (Fleury), Elodie Nakkach (Servette), Salma Amani (Metz)
Forwards: Rosella Ayane (Tottenham Hotspur), Ghizlane Chebbak (ASFAR), Sofia Bouftini (RS Berkane), Kenza Chapelle (Nantes), Fatima Gharbi (CE Europa), Ibtissam Jraidi (Al-Ahli), Sakina Ouzraoui Diki (Bruges),Fatima Tagnaout (ASFAR)
July 24: Germany v MOROCCO (Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne/Naarm, 6:30pm)
July 30: Korea Republic v MOROCCO (Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide/Tarntanya, 2:30pm)
August 3: MOROCCO v Colombia (Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth/Boorloo, 8pm)
Previous Women’s World Cup appearances: 2 (Last in 2015)
2019 Tournament: Did not qualify
Best Finish: Round of 16 (Loss to USA 2-0 in 2015)
Nickname: Las Chicas Superpoderosas
Manager: Nelson Abadia (Colombia)
World Ranking: 25th
After failing to qualify for the last Women’s World Cup in 2019, Colombia are back in the mix this time and are looking to advance into the knockout phases despite a tough group. In their last major tournament at the Copa America Femenina 2022 where they hosted, Las Chicas Superpoderosas made it into the final where they had to beat likes of Chile, Ecuador and Argentina in the semi-final but lost to Brazil in a close final. Nelson Abadia and his team will hope the momentum on the way to the Copa America final will translate into this year’s Women’s World Cup.
Key Player: Linda Caicedo
Club: Real Madrid (Spain)
Linda Caicedo is a serious talent out of Colombia making her full national team debut only at the age of 14. She was the top scorer and a champion while playing with America de Cali and led the U-17 national team to its first World Cup final at any level. At the Copa America, she scored twice and also was named to the team of the tournament.
The Real Madrid player will be an important figure on the field for Colombia as they strive to make it out of the Group Stage.
Breakout Star: Mayra Ramirez
Club: Levante (spain)
Mayra Ramirez can definitely make an impact on this Colombian team as she is a constant goal threat. This past season she scored 14 goals in 27 games for Levante in the Women’s Spanish top flight and in five appearances at the Copa American she was able to score twice.
Colombia could potentially find goals this Women’s World Cup through Ramirez and if she keeps up this goal-scoring form, it wouldn’t be a surprise if big European clubs came calling.
Goalkeepers: Catalina Perez (Avai), Sandra Sepulveda (Independiente Medellin), Natalia Giraldo (America de Cali)
Defenders: Ana Maria Guzman (Deportivo Pereira), Angela Baron (Atletico Nacional), Carolina Arias (Junior), Daniela Arias (America de Cali), Daniela Caracas (Espanyol), Jorelyn Carabali (Atletico Mineiro), Monica Ramos (Gremio)
Midfielders: Daniela Montoya (Atletico Nacional), Diana Ospina (America de Cali), Lorena Bedoya (Real Brasilia), Manuela Vanegas (Real Sociedad), Marcela Restrepo (DUX Logrono), Maria Camila Reyes (Santa Fe), Lady Andrade (Real Brasilia), Leicy Santos (Atletico Madrid), Mayra Ramirez (Levante)
Forwards: Catalina Usme (America de Cali), Elexa Bahr (America de Cali), Ivonne Chacon (Valencia), Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid)
July 25: COLOMBIA v Korea Republic (Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney/Gadigal, 12pm)
July 30: Germany v COLOMBIA (Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney/Gadigal, 7:30pm)
August 3: Morocco v COLOMBIA (Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth/Boorloo, 8pm)
Previous Women’s World Cup appearances: 3 (Last in 2019)
2019 Tournament: Group Stage (Finished 4th)
Best Finish: Round of 16 (Loss to France 3-0 in 2015)
Nickname: Taegeuk Ladies
Manager: Colin Bell (England)
World Ranking: 17th
Similarly to fellow group opponents Morocco and Colombia, the Korea Republic are coming into this year’s Women’s World Cup as runners-up in their respected continental tournaments losing to China 3-2 last year in India. During AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the Korea Republic defeated the Matildas in the quarterfinal and the Philippines in the semi-final. Manager Colin Bell has selected mainly experienced players coming into this World Cup and hopes they will guide the Korean Republic past the group stage in a very tough group.
Keu Player: Ji So-yun
Club: Suwon (Korea)
One of the most influential female Korean players of all time, Ji is the main playmaker and all-time top scorer for her nation. In 144 appearances, she has scored 66 goals and has been an integral figure within the Korean setup. This year’s Women’s World Cup looks to be her last and therefore she will be hoping to make an impact in Australia to add to a decorated career.
Breakout Star: Casey Phair
Club: No club
One of the more surprising selections for the Korea Republic squad, Colin Bell has opted to pick USA-born Casey Phair for the Women’s World Cup. Although she may not be picked in the first eleven in every game, she can learn from the likes of Ji to develop her craft. If given the chance, we may see a future star in the making.
Goalkeepers: Ryu Ji-soo (Seoul), Kim Jung-mi (Incheon Hyundai), Yoon Young-guel (Hacken)
Defenders: Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon), Lee Young-ju (Madrid CFF), Lim Seon-joo (Incheon Hyundai), Kim Hye-ri (Incheon Hyundai), Jang Sel-ji (Incheon Hyundai), Choo Hyo-joo (Suwon), Hong Hye-ji (Incheon Hyundai)
Midfielders: Kim Yun-ji (Suwon), Jeon Eun-ha (Suwon), Bae Ye-bin (Uiduk University), Cho So-hyun (Tottenham Hotspur), Lee Geum-min (Brighton), Ji So-yun (Suwon), Chun Ga-ram (Hwacheon)
Forwards: Kang Chae-rim (Incheon Hyundai), Son Hwa-yeon (Incheon Hyundai), Moon Mi-ra (Suwon), Park Eun-sun (Seoul), Choe Yu-ri (Incheon Hyundai), Casey Phair (No Club)
July 25: Colombia v KOREA REPUBLIC (Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney/Gadigal, 12pm)
July 30: KOREA REPUBLIC v Morocco (Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide/Tarntanya, 2:30pm)
August 3: KOREA REPUBLIC v Germany (Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane/Meaanjin, 8pm)