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2015 Women's World Cup

Women’s World Cup — Day 10 Preview

The final group matches of the 2015 Women’s World Cup will span the next three days beginning with Group A and B matches on Monday.  For this round of matches, the groups have split heading to different cities to play the final matches simultaneously.  And by the end of Wednesday we will know who plays on and against who, and whose World Cup is over.  Let’s get it started.

Group B – Thailand (1-1-0) vs Germany (1-0-1)
Monday, 4 p.m. EDT
Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg

Thailand’s win over Ivory Coast is a contender for the best moment ever in Thai soccer, men or women.  The opponent gets much more difficult here in Germany who stuck 10 on Ivory Coast two Sundays ago.  If Thailand lose they will have to sweat out results the next two days to see if they squeak into the Round of 16.  If they get even a point it will bump Colombia’s upset over France as the most dramatic result of the tournament.  Germany are basically through even if they manage to lose this one, but they’ll be looking to win the group by winning this and staying six goals ahead of Norway.  Thailand has a bit of speed and a lot of spunk but technically this one is a complete mismatch.

Group B – Ivory Coast (0-2-0) vs Norway (1-0-1)
Monday, 4 pm EDT
Moncton Stadium, Moncton

Ivory Coast players were in attendance on Saturday when Colombia beat France so perhaps they will be trying to steal some of the karma.  Unfortunately, even if they pull the upset their tournament will likely end due to goal difference.  They can move the ball around, though, so perhaps they can keep it interesting.  They will likely need the ball in order to protect their defense that has had trouble staying in its shape.

Norway could be in rest mode for this one.  If they assume Germany will win, it will take at least a seven-goal win to even have a chance to finish tops in the group.  Meanwhile a low-scoring win or draw and very likely even a loss gets them through in second place.

Group A – Netherlands (1-1-0) vs Canada (1-0-1)
Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Olympic Stadium, Montreal

Canada has taken heat for the first two games that yielded only a stoppage time penalty that rescued them against China.  On the flipside, John Herdman’s side has yet to concede—with a little help from the crossbar—and is in excellent shape to advance.  But there is no question Canada has to play better if they are to make noise in the knockout rounds and this would be a good spot to start making improvements.  Diana Matheson and Rhian Wilkinson were said to be available against New Zealand which means they could certainly be seen in this one.

[JOHAL: Herdman, Canada set sights on finishing atop Group A]

Netherlands may have missed tactics when they went defensive against China and then missed out on the 0-0 draw with some of the worst defending of the tournament on the stoppage-time sequence that cost them the point.  If they lose this one, that point could wind up sending them home, especially of New Zealand beats China, in which case goal difference could leave them bottom.  The attacking personalities—Lieke Martins, Manon Melis, and Vivianne Miedema—are there and Netherlands are capable of getting the result they need to move on.

[ONE-ON-ONE: Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema on her first World Cup]

Group A – China (1-1-0) vs New Zealand (0-1-1)
Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg

New Zealand are the only team without a goal at this World Cup and they have never won a match at any world Cup.  All they have to do now is break down and beat one of the best defending teams in the tournament.  Another draw will earn them a ticket back home but if they can they win it should be enough to move on especially of Canada-China does not finish in a draw.

China showed against Netherlands that they can create scoring chances and also showed they are not likely to break their defensive shape.  If they can hold New Zealand off the board—even just for a scoreless draw, they should continue playing.  A win will assure that they do.  A loss? A loss will mean scoreboard watching to hope Canada beats the Netherlands and even if they do a few other things will have to break right Tuesday and Wednesday.


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