What to watch for in the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament Saturday:
ROUND OF 16
GERMANY VS. NIGERIA
Where: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Time: 8:30 a.m., PDT.
TV: FS1, Telemundo
The buzz: Nigeria advanced to the knockout round for the first time in two decades when Francisca Lara’s penalty-kick try in injury time of the Chile-Thailand game struck the crossbar, sending the Nigerians through on goal differential and touching off a wild celebration at the Nigerian team’s hotel. Nigeria’s only win of the tournament came against South Korea, but the Super Falcons played France tough in the final group-stage match, eventually losing on Wendie Renard’s penalty kick in the 79th minute. Now, they get No. 2 Germany, a two-time Women’s World Cup champion who is unbeaten and unscored upon in this tournament. Germany’s first two wins came by 1-0 scores, but the team seemed to find its stride in a 4-0 victory over South Africa in its final group-play match. Germany, which has played in all eight Women’s World Cups, has never lost a round-of-16 match, reaching at least the quarterfinals in the previous seven tournaments.
NORWAY VS. AUSTRALIA
Where: Stade de Nice, Nice
Time: Noon, PDT.
TV: Ch. 11
The buzz: Both teams advanced to the knockout stage as group runners-up. Australia, the world’s sixth-ranked team, took the most adventurous route there, losing to Italy in its opener on a goal deep in injury time, then rallying from a 2-0 halftime deficit to beat Brazil with more than a little help from VAR. Norway sandwiched routine wins over South Korea and Nigeria around a loss to France in its group. Australia has made it to the quarterfinals of the last three Women’s World Cups; Norway is playing in the round of 16 for the seventh time in eight Women’s World Cups. The only time it didn’t make it this far was 2011, when it was eliminated in group play by Australia. Sam Kerr has scored five of Australia’s eight goals and is tied with Alex Morgan of the U.S. for the tournament lead; two of Norway’s six scores in group play came on own goals and two more on penalty kicks. Saturday is the four-year anniversary of the day Norway was knocked out in the round of 16 in Canada, losing 2-1 to England.