As the group stages wrap-up we see who is emerging as the top teams in the 2015 Women’s World Cup as they prepare for the knock-out rounds. Today one of the tournament favorites, Germany, attempt to recover from a disappointing draw and say goodbye to newcomers Ivory Coast.
Tell us below, who are you most excited to see today? Do you think Vivianne Miedema will score her first goal of the tournament? Let us know what you think we’re in for today!
Thailand v. Germany
4:00 PM– FOX
Winnipeg Stadium – Winnipeg
Germany was expected to have already secured a first place finish in Group B heading into their last group game, but as it currently stands neither of these two teams have secured a knockout stage berth or earned eliminated. Germany and Norway are tied for first place, but Germany currently holds the first place position on goal differential. With a win over Ivory Coast in the team’s last game, Thailand sit in third place with three points.
The German offense appeared to be out of ideas against Norway, and were able to convert only 1 of their 27 shots. Against Thailand’s defense they should be able to continue their trend of dominating possession and chances on net. Despite not scoring goals, Germany still has an intimidating and powerful front line. Thailand keeper Waraporn Boonsing, will once again have her hands full but she has shown that she can come up with some impressive saves through her team’s first two games.
The German’s need to return to strong flank play and not rely solely on Anja Mittag and Célia Šašić to provide up front. In her first game in the tournament, Dzsenifer Marozsán looked slightly off and lacked a clean touch. Expected an improved performance for the dominating midfielder. Thailand has nothing to lose; a single point from this game would most certainly get them into the knockout round.
Côte d’Ivoire v. Norway
4:00 PM – FOX Sports 1
Moncton Stadium – Moncton
If Norway hope to jump over Germany for the first place in Group B, they will need to win and score a handful of goals in the process. A minimum of six goals will be required at the moment. Fortunately for them they are playing an Ivory Coast team that has given up 13 goals in their first two games.
On the other hand Ivory Coast has already been eliminated from the knockout rounds, but spoiling Norway’s hope of moving into first place could be a good way to end their first tournament appearance.
We have seen two different Norwegian teams in the team’s first games. Against Thailand, the team dominated the field and created several opportunities for themselves. When they played Germany four days later, they appeared lackluster and uninspired. While their opponents were two entirely different teams, the Norwegians looked like different teams themselves. Which one is the real one?
Ivory Coast may not provide the best test but it will show if Norway has the killer instinct to chip in all the goals they need in order to secure first place. For the Ivory Coast, their first World Cup was a difficult one, especially in their opening match. Against Thailand the team looked dangerous throughout and create chances in front of net but still could not earn the three points. They are another team that has nothing to lose in their final game and should be throwing all they have into this final matchup.
Netherlands v. Canada
7:30 PM – FOX Sports 1
Olympic Stadium – Montreal
Group A is a tight race with all the teams having earned at least one point in their first two games. That’s makes these final group games complicated to say the least.
Netherlands is currently tied for second in the group with China both with three points apiece. A win verse Canada and a China loss puts the Dutch in first place of the group and sends them to the knockout stage. A tie and a China loss keeps them in second place. A loss and a China win gives them the third place slot without a guarantee of getting to the knockout stage. A loss and a China loss puts them in a tie for third with the goal differential separating the two.
Canada currently sits at the top of the table in their group with four points, another three points tomorrow secures them the top spot in Group A. A tie and a China loss or tie gives them the first place slot as well. If Canada losses, their fate will hang in the balance.
See what I mean?
For Canada this has been a disappointing tournament so far. While the team grew from their first to second game there is still great room for improvement especially in the final third.
The Dutch also expected more production out of their offense but have one goal in two games. Many were expected to see young hot shot Vivianne Miedema and her prolific goal scoring ability, but she only has one shot on goal.
These two teams are evenly matched with backlines that have been solid and organized and top lines that have the talent but are lacking that final touch.
China PR v. New Zealand
7:30 PM– FOX Sports 2
Winnipeg Stadium – Winnipeg
China currently is tied for the second spot in their group with the Netherlands with 3 points. With a win and a tie from the Netherlands/Canada game, they could secure the top spot but a loss or a tie could send them home early. China needs a win and a Netherlands loss to help them secure the second place slot.
New Zealand currently sits at the bottom of their group with one point but not all hope is lost for them. In order for New Zealand to advance to the knockout stage, they need a win versus China and a Canada win over Netherlands. A loss knocks them out completely but a tie in that game could send them through with a third place spot if they can rack up the score.
The Kiwis lack on their top line but have remained disciplined and organized in the back. As China likes to possess the ball and break down teams with their technical ability, New Zealand’s best chances will come of the counterattack.
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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