Germany-Norway, China-Netherlands, Ivory Coast-Thailand, Canada-New Zealand TV times and open thread

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Now that the first round of the Group Stage has finished, we get our second look at Groups A and B today. Germany faces Norway in what will likely become the battle for first place in Group B. Plus, there’s another look at host nation Canada who is hoping to make a bigger impact in their second game.

Tell us in the comments, who’s your favorite to win the tournament?

Germany v. Norway
4 PM – FOX Sports 1
Group B
Lansdowne Stadium – Ottawa

Germany and Norway both enjoyed lopsided victories against Ivory Coast and Thailand respectively. While Germany might still have the upper hand in this game, their opponent Norway is more evenly matched then their openers.

Neither Germany nor Norway showed many weaknesses during their first games in Canada but questions were asked about German keeper Nadine Angerer, who wasn’t good at controlling the ball with her first few touches. However, Angerer only had to make two saves on the day.

Both of these teams will want to impose their offensive style early. Norway showed a knack for using their pace on the flank while Germany preferred to use the middle of the pitch and play through Anja Mittag and Célia Šašić, both of whom recorded hat tricks in the team’s first game of the tournament.

China PR v. Netherlands
6:00 PM – FOX Sports 2
Group A
Commonwealth Stadium – Edmonton

China felt cheated after a late penalty call that lost them their opening game against Canada. They took advantage of Canada’s mistakes early on but were unable to convert. China’s organization and discipline could present a challenge to the Netherlands. The Dutch were expected to produce a more creative show on offense but only had 3 shots on goal against New Zealand.

For China, patience will be key. If they can possess the ball, even without scoring, they can take advantage of the Netherlands’ inexperience. Late in the game against New Zealand, the Dutch showed a lack of composure late in the game, which allowed for several defensive breakdowns.

Ivory Coast v. Thailand
7 PM – FOX Sports 1
Group B
Lansdowne Stadium – Ottawa

The opening games for these teams were unfortunate; the best thing they can do is to put those performances behind them and focus on the newest challenge. Ivory Coast’s challenge will be finding ways to score on Thailand’s Waraporn Boonsing. While she did give up four goals, she did look impressive at times, especially on a late penalty save.

Canada v. New Zealand
9 PM – FOX Sports 1
Group A
Commonwealth Stadium – Edmonton

Both of these teams opened their World Cup with less then stellar performances. While Canada was able to secure a late 1-0 win over China, slow play and a sloppy performance plagued the team in the first game.

Many speculate that Canada’s underwhelming performance might have been due to the pressure and the reality of their situation finally setting in. The Maple Leaves cannot afford another disorganized performance by their back line, in particular center back Lauren Sesselmann.

Canada had 14 shots (4 on target) in their first game, but they will need to find ways to be more creative and clinical in the final third. They cannot relay solely on Christine Sinclair and a little luck to pull them through the tournament.

New Zealand also had several changes to takes points in their first game but were unable to capitalize. Too often they were impatient around the penalty area and took shots from outside the 18 yard box. Those type of shots will not beat Erin McCloud in this game. As the Canadian defense has already shown cracks, they should use their pace to attack the middle and work their way deeper into the final third.

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

 

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