After the second round of fixtures in the women's Olympic soccer draw in Tokyo, the picture is getting clearer as Sweden and Team Great Britain have already booked their places in the latter stages with a game to spare.
The USWNT recovered from their opening defeat to the Swedes with a thumping win over New Zealand while the Netherlands and Brazil played out a pulsating encounter as Group F continues to generously serve up goals.
Meanwhile, host nation Japan are on the brink of elimination after they were narrowly beaten by the British as Canada set about securing second spot.
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Group G: Sweden advance as USWNT rebound into 2nd
After the Scandinavians ripped into the Americans in their opening game, Vlatko Andonovski's side served up an immediate response with a 6-1 demolition of New Zealand which also saw own goal make a return after a busy UEFA Euro 2020.
The USWNT had four different scorers in Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Alex Morgan while Abby Erceg and CJ Bott were the unlucky providers of the own goals in Saitama to drop Australia down into third after their 4-2 loss to Sweden.
Fridolina Rolfo was at the double as Lina Hurtig and Stina Blackstenius once again featured on the scoresheet with Sam Kerr accounting for the two Aussie goals in a match which they did very briefly lead at Saitama Stadium 2002 and also saw their star denied from the penalty spot.
Heading into the final round of games, Pete Gerhardsson's team is already through while the U.S. can now directly ensure that Australia cannot overtake them in the battle to avoid the third-placed lottery for knockout phase berths.
Group F: Dutch maintain control amid goal-fest
Once more, Group F was the place to be for goals with double digits (14) for the second consecutive round of games after the 18 scored across the two opening matches.
The Netherlands remain top of the pile after a 3-3 draw with Brazil in Rifu which saw the South Americans fight back twice, take the lead and then be pegged back themselves as Vivianne Miedema added two goals to her haul for a total of six alongside the sensational Barbra Banda of Zambia.
While Zambia can now only finish third at best in Group F, the 21-year-old remains in unstoppable form with two hat-tricks from as many appearances after a wild 4-4 draw with China which also saw Wang Shuang net four herself.
The Dutch and Brazilians may have a significant advantage heading into the final round of matches, but the group remains wide open with nobody quite through yet.
Group E: Hosts on brink with British through
Finally, Group E sees the hosts Japan in difficulty after their 1-0 defeat to Team GB in Sapporo as Ellen White continues to be Hege Riise's main weapon with her third goal in two games and the scorer of all of the British goals so far.
Canada remain on course for second spot after Janine Beckie's double proved too much for Chile and guarantees the Canadians a top three finish with a game to spare ahead of their clash with already qualified Team GB.
Chile and Japan are likely fighting for a third-placed finish at best although Nadeshiko can still finish in the top two with a convincing win in their final game in Rifu.