| Event type

Football, Women

Date21 July – 6 August 2021
LocationInternational Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan / Kashima Stadium, Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan / Miyagi Stadium, Rifu, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan / Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan / Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan / Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
Participants228 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of four teams.

The defending champions Germany failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 after losing to Sweden in the quarter-finals in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which acted as a qualifier for the Olympics. That made the United States, with four Olympic, and four FIFA Women’s World Cup titles to their credit, clear favourites for the gold medal in Tokyo. They went into the 2020 Games with a 44-game unbeaten run, and had not conceded a goal in six consecutive games. The USA were also favourites in Rio four years earlier, but it was the only time an American women’s team had failed to reach the Olympic final, when they were beaten on penalties by Sweden in the quarter-final. By coincidence, the opening round of fixtures in Tokyo saw the USA and Sweden kicking off group G. At the age of 39, Carli Lloyd was playing in her fourth Olympics, and went into the Tokyo Games with 306 international caps and 126 goals to her credit.

New Zealand were in the same group as the USA and they had four experienced “Football Ferns” in Abby Erceg, Ria Percival, Anna Green, and Ali Riley who were all competing in their fourth Olympics at Tokyo. The team also contained two members of New Zealand’s bronze medal winning Under-17 World Cup side in striker Gabi Rennie and goalkeeper Anna Leat.

The best of the European countries were the three that finished below the United States in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Netherlands, Sweden and England (playing as Great Britain in Tokyo). In Vivianne Miedema, the Netherlands, the 2017 European champions, had one the biggest names in women’s football in their ranks. She played her club football with Arsenal and, with 60 goals, was the all-time leading English Women’s Super League goalscorer. Up to the start of the tournament, her 73 goals in 96 international appearances also made her Netherlands’ leading women’s goalscorer.

The youngest player was Esther Siamfuko of Zambia, who was just 16 when the tournament started, while the oldest was Brazil midfielder Formiga, who was 43 years 140 days when she played in Brazil’s 5-0 win over China on the opening day in Tokyo. This was Formiga’s seventh tournament, and she had played in every women’s tournament since it was added to the Olympic programme in 1996. Brazil also had the experienced Marta playing alongside her, and both were keen to go one better than the two silver medals they both won in 2004 and 2008.

Swedish-born coach Pia Sundhage guided the USA to Olympic victory in 2008 and 2012, and then led her home country to that quarter-final victory over the Americans, and ultimately a place in the final in Rio. Now she was in charge of Brazil, who were looking for their first women’s title. They were beaten finalists in 2004 and 2008, when Sundhage was the victorious USA coach.

Great Britain kicked the women’s tournament off with a 2-0 win over Olympic newcomers Chile, thanks to two goals from Ellen White. The big shock of day one, however, was the United States losing their unbeaten run to their old foes Sweden. The Europeans were the better side and ran out impressive 3-0 winners, and after just one game were looking like potential gold medallists.

The two newcomers Netherlands and Zambia met each other on the opening day and engaged in a record-breaking match. With Netherlands winning 10-3, they were the first women’s team to score 10 goals in the competition proper, and the 13 goals was the highest aggregate score for a single game. Also, Vivianne Miedema became only the second person after Birgit Prinz of Germany in 2004 to score four goals in a game, and Zambia’s 21-year-old captain Babra Banda, a former professional boxer, became only the second woman after Christine Sinclair (Canada) in 2012 to be on the losing side after scoring a hat-trick. She also became the first female African player to score three goals at the Olympics, and it was also the first time two women had scored hat-tricks in the same game.

In the second round of group games, China’s Wang Shuang emulated Miedema’s feat of scoring four goals in one game, in the 4-4 draw with Zambia. Barbra Banda scored three goals for Zambia and became the first woman to score consecutive hat-tricks at the Olympics. The much-awaited match between Netherlands and Brazil ended in a 3-3- draw, which meant only Sweden and Great Britain had maximum points going into the final group games.

With so much at stake in the final games, it was not surprising that goals were not as forthcoming as they had been in the opening two rounds of matches, but that was a script Netherlands did not bother reading. They scored another eight goals in beating China 8-2 to take their tally from their opening three games to 21 goals, with Miedema scoring twice to take her individual total to eight, surpassing the previous record of six in one tournament by Christine Sinclair in 2012.

Sweden progressed to the knockout stage as the only team with a 100% record while Great Britain lost theirs after drawing 1-1 with Canada, but still topped their group. The Netherlands were the other team to top their group while Brazil, USA and Canada all qualified for the next stage as runners-up, and Australia and Japan went through as the two best third-placed teams.

The opening quarter-final game saw Brazil and Canada play out a goalless draw after 120 minutes and the game was resolved on penalties, which the North Americans won 4-3, and defeated Brazil for the second consecutive Olympics, having beaten them in the bronze medal match in Rio. There was no repeat of the goalless draw in the Australia and Great Britain game. Australia led before going 2-1 behind and then equalised in the 89th minute. Great Britain had a penalty saved in extra time before the Australians netted two quick goals and, despite Ellen White completing her hat-trick, ran out 4-3 winners. Two of Australia’s goals came from Chelsea’s Samantha Kerr, the top scorer in the English Women’s Super League in the 2020-21 season. It was the first time an Australian team had reached the semi-final since the men’s team at Barcelona in 1992, and it was the first time ever that the women’s team had reached the last four.

Sweden reached their second successive semi-final with a 3-1 win over Japan while the Netherlands versus USA match was the third quarter-final to go to extra-time. In a repeat of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Miedema, playing in her 100th international, scored two more goals, to take her total for the tournament to ten. The game ended in a 2-2 draw at the end of extra time with the USA winning 4-2 on penalties, with Miedema having her first penalty saved. For the USA, it was their sixth semi-final in seven Olympic tournaments.

The United States failed to reach the women’s final for the second consecutive Olympics and only for the second time since the women’s game joined the Olympic programme in 1996. Despite having most of the play in their semi-final against Canada, they succumbed to a 73rd minute penalty converted by Jessie Fleming. Having been bronze medallists in both 2012 and 2016, Canada were assured of going at least one better in Tokyo, and victory was also sweet revenge for a 4-3 defeat by the USA at London 2012. Standing in Canada’s way of deciding ff they won silver or gold was Sweden, who beat Australia with a goal in the first minute of the second half, shortly after Australia had a goal disallowed, to defeat the first-time semi-finallists. For Sweden, they were in back-to-back finals and they wanted to go one better than the silver they won when they lost to Germany in Rio.

The bronze medal match started with three quick goals and after 21 minutes the USA were 2-1 up on Australia before adding a third right on half time. The goals kept coming in the second half, and after 51 minutes the USA had extended their lead to 4-1 with a second goal from Carli Lloyd. The “Matildas” pulled one back three minutes later and just on 90 minutes scored again to make it a nervous last few minutes for the Americans, who held out for victory and the bronze medal, to go with their collection of four golds and one silver.

The Swedish team was full of world class footballers and were favourites to improve on their silver medal finish at Rio. The Canadians, however, had enjoyed bronze medals at the last two Olympics and, like the Swedes, had reached the final without losing a game. The final was switched to Yokohama because of the state of the Tokyo pitch. The kick-off time was also moved from 1100 (local time) to 2100 because of concerns over the midday heat in Tokyo.

Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius opened the scoring on 34 minutes with the 100th goal of the 2020 tournament, before another Jessie Fleming penalty, confirmed by VAR, levelled the scores midway through the second half. It stayed at 1-1 up to the end of the 30 minutes extra period and then the game was decided on penalties with Canada coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2, with Julia Grosso converting the winning spot kick to give Canada their first Olympic gold medal, and Sweden had to be content with silver for the second successive Games.

Goalkeeper1Stephanie Labbé
Defender2Allysha Chapman
Defender3Kadeisha Buchanan
Defender4Shelina Zadorsky
Midfielder5Rebecca Quinn
Forward6Deanne Rose
Midfielder7Julia Grosso
Defender8Jayde Riviere
Forward9Adriana Leon
Defender1Ashley Lawrence
Midfielder11Desiree Scott
Forward12Christine Sinclair
Forward13Évelyne Viens
Defender14Vanessa Gilles
Forward15Nichelle Prince
Forward16Janine Beckie
Midfielder17Jessie Fleming
Goalkeeper18Kailen Sheridan
Forward19Jordyn Huitema
Midfielder2Sophie Schmidt
Defender21Gabrielle Carle
Goalkeeper22Erin McLeod DNS
CoachBev Priestman
Goalkeeper1Hedvig Lindahl
Defender2Jonna Andersson
Defender3Emma Kullberg
Defender4Hanna Glas
Midfielder5Hanna Bennison
Defender6Magda Eriksson
Forward7Madelen Janogy
Midfielder8Lina Hurtig
Midfielder9Kosse Asllani
Forward1Sofia Jakobsson
Forward11Stina Blackstenius
Goalkeeper12Jennifer Falk
Defender13Amanda Ilestedt
Defender14Nathalie Björn
Forward15Olivia Schough
Midfielder16Filippa Angeldahl
Midfielder17Caroline Seger
Forward18Fridolina Rolfö
Forward19Anna Anvegård
Midfielder2Julia Roddar
Forward21Rebecka Blomqvist
Goalkeeper22Zećira Mušović DNS
CoachPeter Gerhardsson
3United StatesUSABronze
Goalkeeper1Alyssa Naeher
Defender2Crystal Dunn
Midfielder3Sam Mewis
Defender4Becky Sauerbrunn
Defender5Kelley O'Hara
Midfielder6Kristie Mewis
Forward7Tobin Heath
Midfielder8Julie Johnston-Ertz
Midfielder9Lindsey Horan
Forward1Carli Lloyd
Forward11Christen Press
Defender12Tierna Davidson
Forward13Alex Morgan
Defender14Emily Sonnett
Forward15Megan Rapinoe
Midfielder16Rose Lavelle
Defender17Abby Dahlkemper
Goalkeeper18A. D. Franch
Midfielder19Catarina Macário
Defender2Casey Krueger
Forward21Lynn Williams
Goalkeeper22Jane Campbell DNS
CoachVlatko Andonovski
Goalkeeper1Lydia Williams
Forward2Samantha Kerr
Midfielder3Kyra Cooney-Cross
Defender4Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielder5Aivi Luik
Midfielder6Chloe Logarzo
Defender7Steph Catley
Forward9Caitlin Foord
Midfielder1Emily Van Egmond
Forward11Mary Fowler
Defender12Ellie Carpenter
Midfielder13Tameka Butt-Yallop
Defender14Alanna Kennedy
Forward15Emily Gielnik
Forward16Hayley Raso
Forward17Kyah Simon
Goalkeeper18Teagan Micah
Defender19Courtney Nevin
Defender21Laura Alleway-Brock
Midfielder8Elise Kellond-Knight DNS
Defender2Charlotte Grant DNS
Goalkeeper22Mackenzie Arnold DNS
CoachTony Gustavsson
Goalkeeper1Sari van Veenendaal
Defender2Lynn Wilms
Defender3Stefanie van der Gragt
Defender4Aniek Nouwen
Defender5Merel van Dongen
Midfielder6Jill Roord
Forward7Shanice van de Sanden
Forward9Vivianne Miedema
Midfielder1Daniëlle van de Donk
Forward11Lieke Martens
Midfielder13Victoria Pelova
Midfielder14Jackie Groenen
Defender15Kika van Es
Defender17Dominique Janssen
Forward18Lineth Beerensteyn
Forward19Renate Jansen
Defender21Anouk Dekker
Forward8Joëlle Smits DNS
Defender12Sisca Folkertsma DNS
Goalkeeper16Lize Kop DNS
Midfielder2Inessa Kaagman DNS
Goalkeeper22Loes Geurts DNS
CoachSarina Wiegman
Goalkeeper1 Bárbara
Defender2 Poliana
Defender3 Érika
Defender4 Rafaelle
Midfielder5Julia Bianchi
Defender6 Tamires
Midfielder7 Duda
Midfielder8 Formiga
Forward9 Debinha
Midfielder1 Marta
Midfielder11 Angelina
Forward12 Ludmila
Defender13Bruna Benites
Defender14Jucinara Paz
Midfielder15Geyse Ferreira
Forward16Bia Zaneratto
Midfielder17 Andressinha
Defender19Letícia Santos
Forward2Giovanna Crivelari
Midfielder21Andressa Alves
Goalkeeper18 Lelê DNS
Goalkeeper22 Aline DNS
CoachPia Sundhage
7Great BritainGBR
Goalkeeper1Ellie Roebuck
Defender2Lucy Bronze
Defender3Demi Stokes
Midfielder4Keira Walsh
Defender5Steph Houghton
Midfielder6Sophie Ingle
Forward7Nikita Parris
Midfielder8Kim Little
Forward9Ellen White
Forward1Fran Kirby
Midfielder11Caroline Weir
Defender12Rachel Daly
Defender14Millie Bright
Forward15Lauren Hemp
Defender16Leah Williamson
Midfielder17Georgia Stanway
Midfielder18Jill Scott
Goalkeeper13Carly Telford DNS
Forward19Niamh Charles DNS
Forward2Ella Toone DNS
Defender21Lotte Wubben-Moy DNS
Goalkeeper22Sandy MacIver DNS
CoachHege Riise
Goalkeeper1Sakiko Ikeda
Defender2Risa Shimizu
Defender3Saori Takarada
Defender4Saki Kumagai
Defender5Moeka Minami
Midfielder6Hina Sugita
Midfielder7Emi Nakajima
Midfielder8Narumi Miura
Forward9Yuika Sugasawa
Forward1Mana Iwabuchi
Forward11Mina Tanaka
Midfielder12Jun Endo
Midfielder13Yuzuho Shiokoshi
Midfielder14Yui Hasegawa
Forward15Yuka Momiki
Defender16Asato Miyagawa
Defender17Nanami Kitamura
Goalkeeper18Ayaka Yamashita
Midfielder2Honoka Hayashi
Midfielder21Momoka Kinoshita
Defender19Shiori Miyake DNS
Goalkeeper22Chika Hirao DNS
CoachAsako Takakura
Defender3Lushomo Mweemba
Defender4Esther Siamfuko
Defender5Anita Mulenga
Midfielder6Mary Wilombe
Forward7Ochumba Lubandji
Defender8Margaret Belemu
Forward9Hellen Mubanga
Midfielder1Grace Chanda
Forward11Barbra Banda
Forward12Avell Chitundu
Defender13Martha Tembo
Midfielder14Ireen Lungu
Midfielder15Agness Musase
Goalkeeper16Hazel Nali
Midfielder17Racheal Kundananji
Defender18Vast Phiri
Midfielder19Evarine Katongo
Defender2Esther Mukwasa
Goalkeeper22Ngambo Musole
Goalkeeper1Catherine Musonda DNS
Defender2Fikile Khosa DNS
Midfielder21Hellen Chanda DNS
CoachBruce Mwape
10People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Defender2Li Mengwen
Defender3Lin Yuping
Midfielder4Li Qingtong
Midfielder6Zhang Xin
Midfielder7Wang Shuang
Midfielder8Wang Yan
Midfielder9Miao Siwen
Midfielder1Wang Yanwen
Forward11Wang Shanshan
Goalkeeper12Peng Shimeng
Midfielder13Yang Lina
Midfielder14Liu Jing
Forward15Yang Man
Defender16Wang Xiaoxue
Defender17Luo Guiping
Forward18 Wurigumula
Midfielder19Wang Ying
Forward2Xiao Yuyi
Goalkeeper1Zhu Yu DNS
Defender5Wu Haiyan DNS
Defender21Chen Qiaozhu DNS
Goalkeeper22Ding Xuan DNS
CoachJia Xiuquan
Goalkeeper1Christiane Endler
Defender3Carla Guerrero
Midfielder4Francisca Lara
Midfielder6Nayadet López
Forward7Yenny Acuña
Midfielder8Karen Araya
Forward9María José Urrutia
Forward1Yanara Aedo
Midfielder11Yessenia López
Defender13Fernanda Pinilla
Midfielder14Daniela Pardo
Forward15Daniela Zamora
Forward16Rosario Balmaceda
Defender17Javiera Toro
Defender18Camila Sáez
Forward19Javiera Grez
Midfielder2Francisca Mardones
Midfielder2Yastin Jiménez DNS
Defender5Fernanda Ramírez DNS
Goalkeeper12Natalia Campos DNS
Defender21Valentina Díaz DNS
Goalkeeper22Antonia Canales DNS
CoachJosé Letelier
12New ZealandNZL
Goalkeeper1Erin Nayler
Midfielder2Ria Percival
Defender3Anna Green
Defender4C. J. Bott
Defender5Meikayla Moore
Defender6Claudia Bunge
Defender7Ali Riley
Defender8Abby Erceg
Forward9Gabi Rennie
Midfielder1Annalie Longo
Forward11Olivia Chance
Midfielder12Betsy Hassett
Forward13Paige Satchell
Midfielder14Katie Bowen-Duncan
Midfielder15Daisy Cleverley
Midfielder16Emma Rolston
Forward17Hannah Wilkinson
Goalkeeper18Anna Leat
Defender19Elizabeth Anton DNS
Defender2Marisa van der Meer DNS
Forward21Michaela Robertson DNS
Goalkeeper22Victoria Esson DNS
CoachTom Sermanni

Preliminary Round

Date21 – 27 July 2021

Group E

1Great BritainGBR21074-1
Match #121 Jul 16:30Great BritainGBR2 – 0ChileCHI
Match #221 Jul 19:30CanadaCAN1 – 1JapanJPN
Match #324 Jul 16:30CanadaCAN2 – 1ChileCHI
Match #424 Jul 19:30Great BritainGBR1 – 0JapanJPN
Match #527 Jul 20:00CanadaCAN1 – 1Great BritainGBR
Match #627 Jul 20:00JapanJPN1 – 0ChileCHI

Group F

4People's Republic of ChinaCHN01216-17
Match #121 Jul 17:00BrazilBRA5 – 0People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #221 Jul 20:00NetherlandsNED10 – 3ZambiaZAM
Match #324 Jul 17:00People's Republic of ChinaCHN4 – 4ZambiaZAM
Match #424 Jul 20:00BrazilBRA3 – 3NetherlandsNED
Match #527 Jul 20:30NetherlandsNED8 – 2People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #627 Jul 20:30BrazilBRA1 – 0ZambiaZAM

Group G

2United StatesUSA11146-4
4New ZealandNZL00302-10
Match #121 Jul 17:30SwedenSWE3 – 0United StatesUSA
Match #221 Jul 20:30AustraliaAUS2 – 1New ZealandNZL
Match #324 Jul 17:30SwedenSWE4 – 2AustraliaAUS
Match #424 Jul 20:30United StatesUSA6 – 1New ZealandNZL
Match #527 Jul 17:00AustraliaAUS0 – 0United StatesUSA
Match #627 Jul 17:00SwedenSWE2 – 0New ZealandNZL


Date30 July 2021 — 17:00
FormatWinners of each match advanced to semi-finals.
Match #130 Jul 17:00CanadaCAN0 – 0BrazilBRA
Match #230 Jul 18:00AustraliaAUS4 – 3Great BritainGBR
Match #330 Jul 19:00SwedenSWE3 – 1JapanJPN
Match #430 Jul 20:00United StatesUSA2 – 2NetherlandsNED


Date2 August 2021 — 17:00
FormatWinners of each match advanced to final round.
Match #102 Aug 17:00CanadaCAN1 – 0United StatesUSA
Match #202 Aug 20:00SwedenSWE1 – 0AustraliaAUS

Final Round

Date5 – 6 August 2021
FormatMedal round.
Match 1/206 Aug 21:00CanadaCAN1 – 1SwedenSWE
Match 3/405 Aug 17:00United StatesUSA4 – 3AustraliaAUS