Tuesday 11 December 2018, 09:39

Draw provides sense of déjà vu for Women’s World Cup aspirants

  • Familiar foes to match-up at France 2019

  • A new chapter to be written in the tournament’s most common rivalry

  • FIFA.com looks at some of the historical contests

Last Saturday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ Draw was always likely to provide numerous intriguing scenarios across the six groups. After all, the 24-strong field included four former winners and four debutants, plus a number of host nations who have made the leap from outsiders to genuine title-contenders in recent times.

What was perhaps unexpected was the abundance of nations drawn to face off against familiar adversaries. In that sense, the lottery of the Draw delivered in spades. FIFA.com takes a look at just some of the match-ups that will provide more than a hint of déjà vu next year in France.

USA-Sweden, 20 June, Le Havre (Group F)

The reigning champions and the European heavyweights have played against each other in more matches than any other two nations in the history of the Women’s World Cup. With five previous match-ups, including, quite incredibly, at each of the past four tournaments, it was almost inevitable they would be drawn together again for France 2019. USA won the first three meetings, before the Swedes won in 2011 - a high-intensity 2-1 group-stage victory in Wolfsburg – with the pair playing out a scoreless draw at Canada 2015.

Did You Know?

The shared history between the two nations dates back to their respective debut matches at the Women’s World Cup. The Stars and Stripes won 3-2 on that occasion with the iconic Mia Hamm on the scoresheet.

England-Japan, 19 June, Nice (Group D)

Not since 1995 have England been to a Women’s World Cup and not met Japan. And that record will continue for at least another four years, with the pair set to meet on the final day of Group D action on the French Riviera. While many expect the match could decide the crucial top-spot in the group, it will also be a chance for the Lionesses to gain a dose of revenge. Four years ago on a searingly hot Edmonton day, Japan had more than a dose of luck with their last-gasp winner courtesy of a cruel Laura Bassett own goal. Overall honours, however, are shared with a win apiece and a draw over the three matches.

Did You Know?

Japan suffered a lone defeat in their otherwise imperious march to the gold-medal podium at Germany 2011. It was England who knocked off the Nadeshiko in the final group match with a 2-0 scoreline.

Australia-Brazil, 13 June, Montpellier (Group C)

Australia will face Brazil for their fifth global tournament in a row next year in France. That includes three successive Women’s World Cups and a match at the 2016 Olympics won on home soil by Brazil via a penalty shoot-out. The South Americans saw off the Matildas at the quarter-final stage in 2007 en-route to their only Women’s World Cup Final. The Aussies finally got one over the Brazilians in the Round of 16 at Canada 2015, which was the Matildas first-ever knockout-stage win.

Did You Know?

Brazil have won two of their three Women's World Cup matches against the Australians, but the Matildas have won the past four international matches between the pair.

New Zealand- Netherlands, 11 June, Le Havre,

Canada-New Zealand, 15 June, Grenoble

Netherlands-Canada, 20 June, Reims

What are the chances of three teams being drawn in the same tournament group twice in a row? That is what the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand must be wondering, with the trio to match-up at France 2019 just as they did four years ago. On that occasion the trio played out three extremely tight contests, with a 1-0 win for Netherlands over New Zealand followed up by two draws.

Did You Know?

Newly-appointed New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni will enjoy a reunion of sorts next year in Grenoble, having served as an assistant coach for Canada in 2015.