2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Semifinals
Germany vs United States
Olympic Stadium – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, Telemundo
Spread: Germany pick (-128) / USA pick (+113)
Money Line: Germany +158 / USA +209 / Draw +219
Odds to Advance: Germany -128 / USA +108
Total: over 2 -114 / under 2 -101
All odds courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbooks
The United States and Germany have combined to win four of the six Women’s World Cups but both came up short in 2011. Both look advance to the Final Sunday in Vancouver as the top two teams in the world meet in the semifinals Tuesday in Montreal. The winner will face either Japan or England in the Final.
Germany is #1 in the world and looks to win their third World Cup in the last four events, after losing to Japan in 2011 in the quarterfinals. The loss was especially painful because Germany hosted the tournament in 2011. The United States hasn’t won the World Cup since 1999, and lost to Japan in the Final in 2011 in penalty kicks.
Germany was placed in Group C as the top seed in the World Cup. The Germans crushed Ivory Coast 10-0 in their opening match of the World Cup, before settling for a 1-1 draw against Norway. Germany won the group with a 4-0 win over Thailand. In the Round of 16 Germany cruised to a 4-1 victory over Sweden.
Germany played France in the quarterfinals last Friday in Montreal. France, who is ranked #3 in the world, dominated play, especially in the first half. However, they couldn’t get the ball past German keeper Nadine Angerer. France finally scored at 64 minutes on a goal from talented midfielder Louisa Necib. Germany also couldn’t score, until France was called for a handball in the box at 84 minutes. Celia Sasic converted the penalty kick for her sixth goal of the tournament for Germany. Neither team would score again in regulation or in extra time. France missed a wide open net very late in extra time. France out shot Germany 24-17 for the match but was fatigued by the end of the match. In penalty kicks, each team converted their first four shots. Sasic converted for Germany, but Angerer saved the fifth shot from Claire Lavogez, sending the Germans through to the semifinals.
The United States are the #2 ranked team in the world and were the #1 seed in group D. The Americans opened group play with a 3-1 win over Australia, and then settled for a scoreless draw against Sweden. The US won the group with a 1-0 win over Nigeria, but Nigeria played with only 10 women for a lot of the match. In the round of 16, the United States won 2-0 against Colombia, who also played most of the second half with 10 women.
Midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday picked up their second yellow cards against Colombia and missed the quarterfinal match-up against China Friday in Ottawa. The loss of Rapinoe was especially damaging as she had a hand in five of the six goals the US had scored in the tournament. Both will return against Germany. The United States dominated play against China outshooting them 17-6 and holding possession for 56% of the match. Still, as they have throughout the tournament the Americans couldn’t score until Carli Lloyd scored on a header at 51 minutes. It would be more than enough as the US held on for the 1-0 win. The Americans became the first team to advance to the semifinals in all seven World Cups. Goalkeeper Hope Solo gave up a first half goal against Australia but has posted four straight clean slates since then.
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The United States leads the series against Germany 19-4-7. They met in the semifinals of the World Cup three times in 1991, 1999, and 2003. The winner of each match went on to win the World Cup that year. Surprisingly, these two powers haven’t met in a competitive match since the Olympics in 2004.
The United States is coached by Jill Ellis. The Americans need to create more offense against the high scoring Germans. There are calls for the US to switch from the unimaginative 4-4-2 formation they have used in five matches of the World Cup.
The defense has been a bright spot for the Americans, conceding only one goal in four matches. Goalkeeper Hope Solo has been spectacular, despite some calls for her to be suspended after a well publicized domestic violence incident involving her nephew last year.
The US attack is led by Morgan and Wambach, but each has struggled to create offense. Both have started the last two games after coming off the bench against Sweden. Each has a goal so far in the tournament. Wambach is the leading scorer in Women’s World Cup history but she is at the end of a brilliant career.
Germany is looking for their third World Cup title in the last four events. Longtime manager Silvia Neid will retire next season. Germany looks to atone for a shocking quarterfinal loss as the host nation in 2011 to eventual champion Japan. Germany will use a 4-2-3-1 attack formation.
Legendary German keeper and captain Nadine Angerer will retire after her club season this year. She has allowed only three goals in five games with two shutouts. Only a late goal conceded against Norway proved costly. Sweden scored when they were down 3-0 in the round of 16.
Anja Mittag and Celia Sasic each have at least five goals in the tournament for Germany. Midfielder Lena Goessling has added 3 assists for Germany. Dzsenifer Marozsan is only 23 but is already one of the best midfielders in the world. The defense is just as good as the offense if not better anchored by Annika Krahn.
Germany has scored 20 goals in the tournament and the US has conceded only one. Something has to give. Even though, they couldn’t score against China, many believe it was the best match of the tournament for the Americans. Still, they will have to play much better against Germany. I think it will be close, but I like Germany to escape with a 2-1 win.
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