Despite being dwarfed by USA’s 2-0 win against Germany semi-final Tuesday night, this match between England and Japan still comes to the same conclusion: one of these teams will be making history as they fight to reach the World Cup Final.
England has never made such a run in a Women’s World Cup. Having been defeated three times in previous quarter-finals, they are looking to continue their unprecedented run by defeating the reigning champions. Japan.
After failing to even make it out of the Group stage in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cups, Japan has an excellent chance to become the second team in the women’s game to win two consecutive World Cup titles.
England already knows Japan’s game plan. Japan possesses the ball; and while the talented and skillful Japanese team can out-possess just about any team, they have a difficult time knocking in more then one goal a game. Three of Japan’s games have ended 1-0, highlighting the fact that this team knows they only need one goal to win. Despite the amount of time Japan holds on to the ball, they do not create too many opportunities for themselves in front of net. They are simply clinical on the chances they do have.
TV times for today’s game on US television:
England v. Japan
7:00 PM ET – FOX Sports 1
Commonwealth Stadium – Edmonton
In order to counteract that, England needs to pile on the goals with the use of a quick and potent counterattack that centers on Jodi Taylor. Taylor displayed her ability for breakout speed in the team’s quarterfinal against Canada and she will need to have another standout performance if she hopes to pull her team through to the final.
The commonality of these squads is their strong belief in team play. Both have names that need to be circled, Taylor and Aya Miyama for starters, but they are more centered on a complete team play instead of relaying on the play of a few big stars.