In the first of the rare posts I've made about this World Cup, I only mentioned one player: Sam Kerr of Australia. I quoted Michael Cox:
Everything is set up for Sam Kerr to have a tournament incomparable with anything else any women’s footballer has experienced. The obvious poster girl for a tournament played in her home nation, Kerr can reasonably claim to be the most dangerous striker in the game.
Australia won 2 of their 3 group stage matches to advance (co-hosts New Zealand were not as fortunate ... they are 3-and-out). They won their group, thus winning the opportunity to play Denmark in the next round. Sadly, Sam Kerr was injured just before the tournament started ... she has yet to play (curse of the blog, I guess).
That's the bad news. The good news is that Australia won their group anyway, and rumors are Kerr will be available to play against Denmark.
Meanwhile, Brazil was eliminated in the group stage, meaning Marta has played her last game in a World Cup. Marta is the GOAT in women's soccer. She finishes her international career with 115 goals for Brazil. She scored 17 goals in World Cups, a record. I've posted this many times in many places over the years ... this all-time Marta World Cup goal:
And there's the USA. They were unbeaten during group play, yet everyone agrees they were subpar, and they are likely to be underdogs against Sweden in the next round.