Women’s World Cup 2015: Quarterfinals

Of the 8 teams left the U.S. Women’s Team is ranked only 4th.  It’s easy to see why this is.  Without the unexpected (but clear) Red Card foul by Colombia keeper Catalina Perez in the 47th minute the outcome of their first knockout match was in serious doubt as Colombia seemingly had them baffled with their ball control offense.

It was doubly significant because the ejection of Perez meant they had to use their last available substitute goalie who was under penalty but eligible.  This however caused a one player forfeit (the substitute was under penalty) and Colombia had to play all but 2 minutes of the second half 10 v. 11.

Also Abby Wambach proved ineffective on penalty kicks and they lost the services of Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday to Yellow Cards.

Fortunately they’ll be facing China, the lowest ranked team remaining.  They play a tight defense but the U.S. does too (top rated defense of all the teams left in the tournament).  What Team USA has that China lacks is a wide variety of offensive options, though you wouldn’t know it from the Colombia game which seemed at times to be loft it to Wambach and hope for the best.  Also China is considered the slowest team still playing and their offense has shown no sparkle.

In short it should be winnable in which case the U.S. will advance to face either Germany (defending champions and, based on their dominant tournament play, the top ranked team in the world at the moment) or France (brilliant at times but inconsistent, currently ranked 5th) in the Semifinals on June 30th.

Win or lose in the Semis you would get to see the ladies play again either in the consolation game or the Championship.

Results of the Round of 16

China 1 Cameroon 0
Germany 4 Sweden 1
France 3 South Korea 0
Australia 1 Brazil 0
Canada 1 Switzerland 0
USA 2 Colombia 0
Japan 2 Netherlands 1
England 2 Norway 1

The best print coverage is from The Guardian (of course).  Today’s matches will be on Fox, Germany v. France at 4 pm ET and USA v. China at 7:30 pm ET.  Tomorrow’s matches will be on Fox Sports One, Japan v. Austalia at 4 pm ET and England v. Canada at 7:30 pm ET.

I may or may not be available for liveblogging.

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