When it comes to the World Cup, there is a time to arrive and a time to depart. In between the arrival and departure some teams will come, see and conquer while others will come, see, fight and miss the mark. The ongoing women world cup in Australia and New Zealand has so far been interesting.
Some analysts regard the group stage as party time, where you have every opportunity to correct a slip if you lose in the opener. Gradually the group stage fading to give way to knock out stage or last 16 where there is no room for any margin of error.
Come Monday August 7 either the Three Lionesses of England or Super Falcons of Nigeria will take a bow and exit the world cup.
Both teams competing in Group B and D respectively pulled through the challenge to hit the last 16. While England topped Group D with maximum nine points, Super falcons finished second in Group B behind Co-hosts Australia earning six points winning a match with two draws.
In their last six matches the Three lionesses won three including of course the latest 6-1 demolition of China, they drew two against Portugal and Brazil before the world cup and then lost to Australia in another friendly.
The Falcons on the other hand won three of their last six matches including the 3-2 defeat of Australia, then wins against New Zealand and Costa Rica in friendlies prior to the world cup. Two draws against debutants Republic of Ireland and Canada and a loss to Mexico in another friendly way back in February.
The melting point of all the efforts and results will be on Monday. The Falcons best outing was the Quarterfinal of 1999 edition. At the last world cup in France, the team crashed out in the last 16 losing 3-0 to Germany.
Will the team exit back to back in the round of 16 or hit the Quarter final, an achievement recorded 24 years ago? Monday is not far away!