Women's Olympic football: A guide to the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 

CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 21: Players of Team Sweden form a huddle prior to the Women's First Round Group G match between Sweden and United States during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 21: Players of Team Sweden form a huddle prior to the Women's First Round Group G match between Sweden and United States during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

With the final 8 teams now decided after a thrilling group stage, here are the things you need to know ahead of the knockout rounds. 

After 18 games and 74 goals, Tokyo 2020 has it's women's football quarter-finalists.

New Zealand, Zambia, Chile, and China were the four teams that failed to qualify from the group stage, despite the entertainment they brought - in particular Barbra Banda who had the entire world talking when she scored back-to-back hat tricks for the African nation, who were the only third-placed team to be eliminated.

But eight teams did make it through to the knockout stages, and on Friday 30 July they'll be fighting for a place in the semi-finals.

Here's what you need to know about each tie ahead of the quarter-finals matches.

RIFU, MIYAGI, JAPAN - JULY 27: Mina Tanaka #11 of Team Japan celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the Women's Group E match between Chile and Japan on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Miyagi Stadium on July 27, 2021 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
RIFU, MIYAGI, JAPAN - JULY 27: Mina Tanaka #11 of Team Japan celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the Women's Group E match between Chile and Japan on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Miyagi Stadium on July 27, 2021 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
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Tokyo 2020 women's quarter-final: Sweden v Japan

After coming through as one of the third best teams in the groups, the hosts - Japan - will take on the best performing team of the competition so far in Sweden.

Despite the two having very different group experiences, nothing is guaranteed for either side going into the knockout rounds.

Sweden

The Swedes have been absolutely emphatic in the competition so far.

After suffocating the World Cup winners, USA, in their opening game, they came from behind to beat Australia, before going on to win comfortably against bottom of the group New Zealand.

Their latest win came with heavy rotation in the squad, a testament to their depth, as Anna Anvegård and Madelen Janogy found themselves on the scoresheet - the latter coming from an outrageous assist curtesy of 18-year-old Hanna Bennison who earned her first start of the Games.

At full strength, it's been the front three of Fridolina Rolfö, Stina Blackstenius and Sofia Jakobsson who have been playing together in harmony and breaking down opposition defences as though they're not there.

Sweden's hopes of progression could come down to whether or not the front three are on song, and they've yet to be off so far.

Japan

Despite hosting the games, Japan have yet to really treat the nation to an emphatic win that would indicate their intent in the competition.

They opened with a 1-1 draw against Canada before narrowly losing to Great Britain in their second outing.

Their third game against Chile, a must-win, provided a story of hope, as they were able to dig deep and eventually find the breakthrough - a wonderful team goal finished off by TANAKA Mina helped cement their place in the knockout round.

And while they have shown their ability to shut teams out at the back, it's going forward that requires work, especially against a Sweden team who is full of goals.

But perhaps welcoming back fans in the game against Chile will have provided the boost they needed going forward.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - JULY 27: Vivianne Miedema #9 of Team Netherlands celebrates with teammate Renate Jansen #19 after scoring their side's fifth goal  during the Women's Group F match between Netherlands and China on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on July 27, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - JULY 27: Vivianne Miedema #9 of Team Netherlands celebrates with teammate Renate Jansen #19 after scoring their side's fifth goal during the Women's Group F match between Netherlands and China on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on July 27, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
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Tokyo 2020 women's quarter-final: The Netherlands v USA

We're turning back the clocks with this tie.

It's 2019 in sunny France, the USA and the Netherlands go head-to-head in the FIFA Women's World Cup final.

Megan Rapinoe puts the U.S. ahead before Rose Lavelle seals the win.

Fast forward to 2021, the Yokohama Stadium and the Tokyo Olympics - the European Champions will meet the World Champions once again.

The Netherlands

In a group stage filled with goals, it's been the Netherlands who have enjoyed many of them.

The Dutch scored 21 goals across their three group games, with two emphatic wins either side of a thrilling 3-3 draw to Brazil.

Vivianne Miedema has been leading the way with eight goals, overtaking Canada's Christine Sinclair (6) with the most goals scored in a single Olympic Games, and edging closer to Brazil's Cristiane (14) who has scored the most goals across women's football at the Olympics.

But, much like their QF opponents, they haven't been all that secure at the back - conceding eight goals in the group stages.

Despite their powerhouse forwards and engines in midfield, they may need to tighten up in defence to prevent the USA front three - known for their ruthlessness - from capitalising on any mistakes they make.

The USA

The Americans have had a tough group stage, starting with a thumping 3-0 defeat to Sweden, before a dreary draw against Australia. Their only win was a 6-1 thrashing of New Zealand.

The forward line Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Christen Press has failed to ignite, while the midfield through to the backline has struggled under the weight of opposition pressure.

Their only win of the group stage, however, showed a glimpse of why they are so impossible to write off on the big stage. They are clinical, particularly at capitalising on opposition mistakes, and their ruthlessness makes them feared opponents.

RIFU, MIYAGI, JAPAN - JULY 24: Marta #10 of Team Brazil celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Women's First Round Group F match between Netherlands and Brazil on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Miyagi Stadium on July 24, 2021 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
RIFU, MIYAGI, JAPAN - JULY 24: Marta #10 of Team Brazil celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Women's First Round Group F match between Netherlands and Brazil on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Miyagi Stadium on July 24, 2021 in Rifu, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
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Tokyo 2020 women's quarter-final: Canada v Brazil

The last time these two teams faced off it was a friendly in June 2021, and a goal couldn't separate them.

After Brazil finished level with The Netherlands, their lesser goal difference meant they were destined to meet the Canadians once again.

With two draws and a narrow win against Chile, the same destiny would await Canada.

Canada

Canada opened their account with a 1-1 draw to hosts Japan, before going on to their only win of the group stage, against Chile.

They were on the verge of recording a second win against Great Britain, but a late goal from GB's Caroline Weir meant Canada had to settle for a second draw.

Janine Beckie, with two goals against Chile, and Adriana Leon, with the only goal against Team GB, have proved to be the biggest goal threat for the Canadians, and could be needed if they are to progress through to the semi-final.

The standout player for Canada has been Ashley Lawrence.

Able to play in both defence and midfield, Lawrence has been brilliant so far, and could well have left the fullbacks she's come up against with nightmares.

Not only has she been solid at the back and in transition for her country, but she has provided an abundance of creativity going forward, and has proven to be a key player in the system that Canada operate in.

Brazil

The Brazilians have brought us entertainment both on and off the pitch.

From head coach Pia Sundhage playing the piano with the men's team, to their group games over the last week, they've brought it all.

And it started with a 5-0 thumping of China in their opening group game, before thrilling us with a 3-3 draw against the Dutch.

Their third game, against Zambia, was far more subdued but a narrow 1-0 win saw them progress into the knockout stage.

While the likes of Debinha and Ludmila have proven to be a threat going forward, the stars of the show have been history making duo of Marta and Formiga.

And despite showing their ruthlessness going forward, Brazil's secret weapon could lie within their head coach.

If there's anyone that knows how to do knockout rounds, it's Pia Sundhage.

She was responsible for the Swedish side back in 2016 who caused an upset in Rio after knocking out the USA in dramatic fashion.

Regardless of the opponent, Brazil are in good hands going forward in the competition.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Ellen White (R) of Manchester City Women celebrates with team mate Rose Lavelle (L) scoring her sides first goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Everton Women and Manchester City Women at Walton Hall Park on December 06, 2020 in Liverpool, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Ellen White (R) of Manchester City Women celebrates with team mate Rose Lavelle (L) scoring her sides first goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Everton Women and Manchester City Women at Walton Hall Park on December 06, 2020 in Liverpool, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
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Tokyo 2020 women's quarter-final: Great Britain v Australia

After topping their group with two wins and a draw, Great Britain now turn their attention to Australia.

A win against New Zealand, and holding the USA to a goalless draw, ensured that the Aussies would go through as a best third placed team.

The last time the two met, it ended in a 1-1 draw; but as is the case with knockout rounds, one of these teams simply has to win.

Great Britain

Though not blowing opponents away, Great Britain have coasted quite comfortably through their group.

Their opener against Chile ended 2-0, with on-form Ellen White bagging both goals, missing out on a hat trick as a result of being offside.

White was on target again as they edged past Japan with just the single goal in it.

It was Canada who proved to be their biggest test in the group stages, and was the first time the mentality of the Brits was tested after they went 1-0 down, but Caroline Weir was on-hand to claw it back and ensure they finished top of their group.

The only goal they conceded showed some potential areas to expose, particularly at the back post, but they demonstrated their confidence at the back in keep two clean sheets so far.

Australia

The Australians had quite the task on their hands, going into a group with rivals New Zealand and the World Cup winners and third placed teams USA and Sweden.

They opened their account with a win against neighbours NZ 2-1, before losing to Sweden 4-2 despite having the lead in that game.

Their third and final group game ended in a stalemate agains the USA, with neither team being able to break the deadlock despite Alex Morgan's disallowed goal for offside.

Sam Kerr has been firing up top for her country, with three goals so far.

Perhaps the biggest thing holding Australia back so far as their creativity in the middle - if they are able to have a player who likes to drive play through the middle, into the path of the likes of Kerr, they'd present themselves with far more opportunities to score.

But at the minute, much of their creativity comes from the wide areas and that will be key in isolating defenders as they attempt to break down the opposition defence.

KASHIMA, JAPAN - JULY 27: Alex Morgan #13 of Team United States breaks away from Chloe Logarzo #6 and Tameka Yallop #13 of Team Australia during the Women's Football Group G match between United States and Australia on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kashima Stadium on July 27, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
KASHIMA, JAPAN - JULY 27: Alex Morgan #13 of Team United States breaks away from Chloe Logarzo #6 and Tameka Yallop #13 of Team Australia during the Women's Football Group G match between United States and Australia on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kashima Stadium on July 27, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
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Tokyo 2020 women's quarter-final fixture schedule and kick-off times

The quarterfinal ties get underway on Friday 30 July from 17:00 JST, starting with Canada v Brazil.

17:00 JST - Miyagi Stadium - Canada v Brazil

18:00 JST - Ibaraki Kashima Stadium - Great Britain v Australia

19:00 JST - Saitama Stadium - Sweden v Japan

20:00 JST - International Stadium Yokohama - The Netherlands v The USA

You can read more about those, and all other events from the Games, in the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics live blog .