Italy vs China Preview

Italy vs China Preview: A Tense, Tight Affair To Test The Azzure

Italy will face China in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup, the clash on Tuesday evening at Montpellier’s Stade de la Mosson marking the first time the two nations have ever met at the game’s showpiece event.

Italy have won three of their last four matches at the tournament after winning just two of their first six games in the competition, while – since they reached the final back in 1999 – China have lost three of their last four knockout-stage games at the World Cup, never emerging further than the quarter-finals.

A place on that same stage is now at stake, with the eventual winners taking on either Netherlands or Japan, but first they will need to get through what should be an extremely difficult challenge for both sides. Read More

China vs Spain

China vs Spain Preview: Chance for both teams to reach the last 16

As we enter the final match day of the group stage, China vs Spain, a group B encounter which takes place at Le Havre, will decide who will join likely group winners Germany in the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup.

Looking at the current standings, La Roja are second on virtue of a better goal difference and a draw on Monday will be enough for them to go through. From China’s viewpoint, by knowing that the four best third-placed teams will also reach the last-16, they may qualify even if they don’t beat Spain.

Currently, they are second in the best-ranked third-placed teams and a point is enough for them to contest a potential last-16 match against possible group D winners England or Group C winners Italy. With the qualifying scenarios put aside, let us take a look at how the two sets of players have performed so far. Read More

South Africa vs China

South Africa vs China Preview: A defensive masterclass required

Very little was expected of World Cup debutantes South Africa, in their opening match against Spain, but they used that to their advantage in Le Havre on Saturday as they made the Spaniards sweat profusely for well over an hour.

Having made history already by qualifying, they sweetened things by scoring their first goal of the showpiece and it was none other than the best player on the African continent, Thembi Kgatlana, who netted a fine chip over the goalkeeper in the 25th minute.

The 23-year old forward’s celebrations told a story of a team that was intent on defying the odds, or at least go down trying, as she cupped her ear as though she was asking the naysayers “you were saying?”. Read More

Germany vs China Preview

Germany vs China Preview: Germans out to make a fresh start

Two dark horses of the World Cup meet in the opening match of Group B. Who will win in the clash of Germany vs China: the more physical Europeans or the more technical Asian side?

Both the men’s and the women’s German national team are usually considered to be competitive at international tournaments no matter the circumstances. But just like Joachim Low’s players disappointed in France last year, their female counterparts did the year prior when they were knocked out in the EURO’s quarterfinals against Denmark.

Between 1995 and 2013, the Germans defended the EURO championship at every tournament, but somewhere after that, the train derailed and has never gotten back on track. Steffi Jones, a former German international, was supposed to be the saviour, yet she had to go following the disappointing display in 2017.

While Jones‘s appointment was often linked with political power play, since she has strong ties with the German FA, now-national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg seemed to be the more qualified candidate. But Voss-Tecklenburg appeared as a harsh critic towards the FA and was forced to work her way up by leading the Swiss national team onto the international stage.

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