Women's World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, July 9, 2011
(All times Eastern)
France (2-1-0) vs. England (2-0-1), Noon
Leverkusen, Germany (Sports Network) - France coach Bruno Bini crowned Germany
as three-time Women's World Cup champions after losing the group-stage finale
between the clubs, but he doesn't think the French are finished yet either.
"We're still in the running for second place," Bini said after Germany downed
France 4-2 in the Group A finale Tuesday.
"If we can win our quarterfinal, and we want to win it, we'll be one of three
teams still in contention for second place."
France plays Group B winner England on Saturday at BayArena in its first-ever
quarterfinal appearance at the World Cup, and both teams will be trying to get
to the semifinals for the first time.
England reached the quarterfinals in 1995 and 2007, but lost both matches. But
this time, England may have its best team ever, as Bini acknowledged after the
Three Lionesses reached the Euro 2009 final.
"England are a decent side - they were finalists at the last [Euros]," Bini
said. "I would have preferred Sweden."
Bini may want to avoid Sweden later in the tournament after that remark, but a
loss against England will make that possibility impossible.
With seven goals scored in three group games, France knows it has the offense
to compete against any country in the world, but defensively goalie Berangere
Sapowicz will miss the match after receiving a red card against Germany.
Celine Deville replaced Berangere and allowed two goals, but the first was the
penalty from Berangere's foul in the area, and the second was with just a few
minutes remaining after France played most of the half with just 10 players.
England played well against Japan, and the win sends it into the quarterfinals
with confidence after lackluster games against New Zealand and Mexico.
"I think it was our best team performance for the whole tournament," England
forward Karen Carney said.
"This result has given us motivation for the upcoming matches," added England
forward Rachel Yankey. "We are very confident and proud now."
England coach Hope Powell is looking forward to another chance in the knockout
round, as her side lost 3-0 to the United States at this stage four years ago
in China. The winner will play the U.S. or Brazil in the semis, but England is
much better than it was four years ago.
"We're really looking forward to the quarterfinal. We're stronger than 2007,"
07/09 00:31:54 ET