The biggest match of the Women’s World Cup so far sees number-one ranked Germany and number-two ranked United States battle to book a place in Sunday’s final.
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The final 8: What to expect in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup and BEYOND
After Germany advanced to the quarter-finals in dramatic fashion against France, the World Cup at last gets the match the fans have been waiting for, with the two best teams battling it out. But will it live up to the hype?
While the United States have not impressed throughout the tournament, the team definitely found their spark against China, creating 13 chances- the most of any of their matches thus far. The Americans have been mostly defensively minded, only allowing one goal and Hope Solo tallying 11 saves so far. But, with the attacking mindset of the Germans, both sides will be tested.
Germany’s road through the World Cup has been a different story. They have been the highest scoring team in the tournament with 20 goals and 134 attempts in just five games.
Germany have an impressive and balanced attack, including the highest goalscorer in the tournament. Celia Sasic has created 18 chances and scored six goals- just one fewer than what the Americans have scored combined.
The organised American defence against the firepower of the German attack will create a game that will be sure to be remembered. But, which side’s strongest asset will break down first?
What will determine that is if the American’s attack finally shows up, and that is Alex Morgan’s responsibility after being deemed healthy and adding significant minutes in the last few games. If Morgan can use her speed and grit to get behind the German defence and create chances, the Americans have a much better chance of winning against the best team in the world.
But, the Germany attack is completely different than what the Americans have seen all tournament and that could surprise them. With Germany’s 4-5-1 formation, they will outnumber the Stars and Stripes in midfield, and cause trouble as three attacking midfielders arrive late to cause panic in the box.
But anyone has seen the Americans play in previous tournaments, know that they can play even better when a goal down. Remember Abby Wambach’s goal late in extra time to send the 2011 semi-final against Brazil to penalty kicks?
Expect a game with as much excitement as that, and the winner most likely being favourites to win the championship on Sunday against the winner of England versus Japan.