Women’s World Cup: Two quarterfinals Friday
GERMANY VS. FRANCE
Where: Montreal. Time: 1 p.m. PDT. TV: Ch. 11.
The buzz: Arguably the two best teams in this tournament, Germany and France will meet in the quarterfinals rather than the final after FIFA drew the brackets with ticket sales — i.e. ensure Canada and the U.S. go as far as possible — rather than competitive balance in mind. Germany is going for its third Women’s World Cup crown in addition to trying to become the first country to hold men’s and women’s Cup titles at the same time. Germany leads the tournament with a goal differential of plus-17 and winning three games by an average of nearly six goals. France, which has never finished higher than fourth in a Women’s World Cup, stumbled only once here, losing 2-0 to Colombia. But it didn’t give up a goal in its other three games and won its last two by a combined 8-0.
U.S. VS. CHINA
Where: Ottawa. Time: 4:30 p.m. PDT. TV: Ch. 11, NBC Universo.
The buzz: The rebuilding Chinese say they’ve achieved their goal by reaching the quarterfinals; the Americans have said anything short of a championship is unacceptable. But the U.S. will have to overcome more than the pressure of expectations. The Americans will also be missing starting midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe, both of whom were handed second yellow cards in their last games. And the U.S. is in an offensive funk, with only five goals from the run of play in four games. The Americans have also pitched three consecutive shutouts, though, while defense-minded China has given up only three goals in the tournament.
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