Today is our chance to get a second look at the Group of Death, better known as Group D. Although the U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden might be the main attraction, Australia vs. Nigeria will be a great match with both teams playing strongly in their tournament openers. Group C also gets another go-round and all four teams will be looking to score goals.
Australia v. Nigeria
5 PM – FOX Sports 1
Winnipeg Stadium – Winnipeg
In what was one of the most exciting and shocking opening games, Nigeria came back twice to earn a 3-3 draw against Sweden. Nigeria showed pace and strength on the front line that was unexpected and unmatched.
Australia’s defense will need to keep compact and organized in this second Group D game. Asisat Oshoala and Ngozi Okobi showed they like to sit on the back line and use their pace to timely slip passes through in order to force one-on-one opportunities. Australia’s defense likes to get up the flanks and into the attack, but the speed Nigeria features may force them to sit back.
Australia can easily take advantage of free kicks and corners as the Super Falcons gave up two early goals off the set pieces. The Matildas were able to draw 17 fouls against the Americans. If Australia can keep higher pressure for a full 90 minutes, they may be able to score on a few of their own set pieces.
Switzerland v. Ecuador
7:00 PM – FOX Sports 1
BC Place Stadium – Vancouver
Switzerland did everything right in their opening game, except score a goal. Against Ecuador, goals should come a little easier.
Ecuador had little to show on offense, with only 2 shots on target. Often they were forced to sit back on defense and hold off waves of attack by Cameroon. Eventually the floodgates opened and they were unable to contain an onslaught of goals.
With the Swiss hungry to find their first ever World Cup goal, Ecuador may be in for a similar fate. If they want to avoid that, they will need to find a way to contain Lara Dickenmann, who works the right side and create several opportunities for her teammates.
Japan v. Cameroon
10 PM – FOX Sports 1
BC Place Stadium – Vancouver
Japan looked uncharacteristically flat in their opening game against the Swiss. They will need to return to their patient possession game if they want to beat a speedy Cameroon team.
On the other hand, Cameroon will want to come out strong and take an early lead before Japan has time to settle into the game. If Japan starts to build out of the back, that is when the Lionesses will have trouble. Cameroon does not have the fitness to chase the ball to Japan.
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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