Sam Kerr scored four goals for Australia on Tuesday. (Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters)

The United States is a slight favorite to defend its world championship in the tournament. But with the host French team, which won its group Monday, overdue for a trophy and several programs making notable gains, this World Cup promises to be the most competitive ever.

Two teams from each group, and four of the six third-place teams, will advance to the round of 16.

All times Eastern. All games live-streamed on Fox Sports.

Group A

France won the group with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria on Monday, with the lone goal coming on a penalty. France will face a third-place team in the round of 16 on Sunday. Norway earned a 2-1 win over South Korea on Monday and finished second in the group. The Scandinavians will face Group C runner-up Australia in the round of 16 on Saturday. Winless South Korea was eliminated, while third-place Nigeria must await further results to learn if it survives group play.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
France 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
Norway 2 0 1 6 3 3 6
Nigeria 1 0 2 2 4 -2 3
South Korea 0 0 3 1 8 -7 0

Group schedule

June 7

France 4, South Korea 0 (read more)

June 8

Norway 3, Nigeria 0 (read more)

June 12

Nigeria 2, South Korea 0 (read more)

France 2, Norway 1 (read more)

June 17

France 1, Nigeria 0 (read more)

Norway 2, South Korea 1 (read more)

Group B

The Germans secured first place in the group with a 4-0 win over South Africa on Monday; they will play one of the third-place teams in the round of 16 on Saturday. Spain and China battled to a 0-0 draw on Monday. Spain finished second in the group via goal differential and will face the Group F winner on Monday. China is ensured of advancing as one of the top four third-place teams. South Africa has been eliminated.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
Germany 3 0 0 6 0 6 9
Spain 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
China 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
South Africa 0 0 3 1 8 -7 0

Group schedule

June 8

Germany 1, China 0 (read more)

Spain 3, South Africa 1 (read more)

June 12

Germany 1, Spain 0 (read more)

June 13

China 1, South Africa 0 (read more)

June 17

Spain 0, China 0 (read more)

Germany 4, South Africa 0 (read more)

Group C

Italy finished atop Group C despite a 1-0 loss to Brazil on Tuesday. Italy will face a third-place qualifier in Montpellier on Tuesday. Australia surged past Brazil with a 4-1 win over Jamaica to finish second and will play Group A runner-up Norway Saturday in Nice. Brazil secured passage into the knockout round as a third-place qualifier, while Jamaica scored its first-ever World Cup goal but was eliminated.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
Italy 2 0 1 7 2 5 6
Australia 2 0 1 8 5 3 6
Brazil 2 0 1 6 3 3 6
Jamaica 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group schedule

June 9

Italy 2, Australia 1 (read more)

Brazil 3, Jamaica 0 (read more)

June 13

Australia 3, Brazil 2 (read more)

June 14

Italy 5, Jamaica 0 (read more)

June 18

Australia 4, Jamaica 1 (read more)

Brazil 1, Italy 0 (read more)

Group D

The favorite: The Lionesses of England seem on the verge of something big after advancing to the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup and 2017 European Championship. Since January 2018, the operation has been run by former Manchester United standout Phil Neville.

The contender: Japan’s revamped squad is not expected to reach a third consecutive final, but with a rising youth corps and proven system, a serious run is not out of the question.

The others: Passage to the knockout stage would further the cause of Argentina, which has slowly gained respect at home in a male-dominated sport. Scotland qualified for the first time, and with greater resources, the program is on the right path.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
England 2 0 0 3 1 2 6
Japan 1 1 0 2 1 1 4
Argentina 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1
Scotland 0 0 2 2 4 -2 0

Group schedule

June 9

England 2, Scotland 1 (read more)

June 10

Japan 0, Argentina 0 (read more)

June 14

Japan 2, Scotland 1 (read more)

England 1, Argentina 0 (read more)

June 19

England vs. Japan in Nice, 3 p.m. (Fox, Telemundo Deportes)

Scotland vs. Argentina in Paris, 3 p.m. (FS1, Universo)

Group E

The favorite: If you’re looking for a team to make a massive breakthrough this summer, the Netherlands is at the top of the list. The Dutch won the 2017 European Championship and feature exciting attackers including Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal) and Lieke Martens (Barcelona).

The contender: After faltering in the quarterfinals at home in 2015, Canada should not have much trouble in group play but probably doesn’t have enough to return to the semifinals for the first time since 2003.

The others: Guided by former U.S. coach Tom Sermanni, New Zealand’s Football Ferns are seeking to advance out of group play for the first time. Cameroon’s Les Lionnes are aiming to replicate their two-victory performance in group play four years ago.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
Netherlands 2 0 0 4 1 3 6
Canada 2 0 0 3 0 3 6
New Zealand 0 0 2 0 3 -3 0
Cameroon 0 0 2 1 4 -3 0

Group schedule

June 10

Canada 1, Cameroon 0 (read more)

June 11

Netherlands 1, New Zealand 0 (read more)

June 15

Netherlands 3, Cameroon 1 (read more)

Canada 2, New Zealand 0 (read more)

June 20

Cameroon vs. New Zealand in Montpellier, noon (FS1, Telemundo Deportes)

Canada vs. Netherlands in Reims, noon (Fox, Universo)

Group F

The favorite: The top-ranked United States has won the World Cup three times and Olympic gold four times, but its earliest exit in major competition (2016 Olympic quarterfinals vs. Sweden) has helped motivate a squad with enough depth and experience to field two quality teams.

The contender: Sweden has been among the most reliably strong programs since women’s soccer took root, and for the fifth straight tournament, it landed in the same group as the Americans.

The others: With a surprising second-place finish at Copa America Femenina (South American championship), Chile qualified for the first time. Thailand is back on the world stage after debuting in Canada four years ago.

W D L GF GA Diff. Pts.
United States 2 0 0 16 0 16 6
Sweden 2 0 0 7 1 6 6
Chile 0 0 2 0 5 -5 0
Thailand 0 0 2 1 18 -17 0

Group schedule

June 11

Sweden 2, Chile 0 (read more)

United States 13, Thailand 0 (read more)

June 16

Sweden 5, Thailand 1 (read more)

United States 3, Chile 0 (read more)

June 20

United States vs. Sweden in Le Havre, 3 p.m. (Fox, Telemundo)

Chile vs. Thailand in Rennes, 3 p.m. (FS1, Universo)

Knockout round schedule

Round of 16

June 22

Match 38: Group B winner vs. third-place team from Group A, C or D in Grenoble, 11:30 a.m.

Match 37: Group A runner-up vs. Group C runner-up in Nice, 3 p.m.

June 23

Match 39: Group D winner vs. third-place team from Group B, E or F in Valenciennes, 11:30 a.m.

Match 40: Group A winner vs. third-place team from Group C, D or E in Le Havre, 3 p.m.

June 24

Match 41: Group F winner vs. Group B runner-up in Reims, noon

Match 42: Group E runner-up vs. Group F runner-up in Paris, 3 p.m.

June 25

Match 43: Group C winner vs. third-place team from Group A, B or F, noon

Match 44: Group E winner vs. Group D runner-up, 3 p.m.

Quarterfinals

June 27

Match 45: Match 37 winner vs. Match 39 winner in Le Havre, 3 p.m.

June 28

Match 46: Match 40 winner vs. Match 41 winner in Paris, 3 p.m.

June 29

Match 47: Match 43 winner vs. Match 44 winner in Valenciennes, 9 a.m.

Match 48: Match 38 winner vs. Match 42 winner in Rennes, 12:30 p.m.

Semifinals

July 2: Match 45 winner vs. Match 46 winner in Lyon, 3 p.m.

July 3: Match 47 winner vs. Match 48 winner in Lyon, 3 p.m.

Third-place match

July 6 in Nice, 11 a.m.

Final

July 7 in Lyon, 11 a.m.

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