2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Third Place Match: Germany vs England

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Third Place Match
Germany vs England
Commonwealth Stadium – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Saturday, July 4, 2015, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NBC Universo
Spread: Germany -1 (-105) / England +1 (-110)
Money Line: England +495 / Germany -175 / Draw +346
Odds to Win Match: Germany -365 / England +305
Total: under 3 (-119) / over 3 (+104)
All Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbooks

Germany and England play in the Third place match Saturday in Edmonton. Germany is a heavy favorite.
Germany and England play in the Third place match Saturday in Edmonton. Germany is a heavy favorite.

After heartbreaking losses in the semifinals Germany and England must play in the third place game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Saturday in Edmonton. Motivation is always a factor in any consolation game but it might be especially true for these two teams.

Germany has dominated the series against England with 18 wins and 2 draws in 20 matches played between the sides. Germany is #1 in the FIFA rankings and England is #6. They have played numerous friendlies but haven’t played a competitive match since the 2009 European Championships.

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 then beat France in penalty kicks (1-1 (5-4)) to advance to the semifinals against the United States last Tuesday in Montreal.

Germany and the United States combined for 27 shots but neither team could score. US Forward Alex Morgan missed a couple of great opportunities in the first half. At 60 minutes, defender Julie Johnston fouled Germany’s Alexandra Popp in the box. Johnston received a yellow card but many thought it should have been a red card. Germany was awarded a penalty kick. Shockingly, Germany’s Celia Sasic who has six goals in the tournament missed the kick wide. Nine minutes later the US was awarded a penalty kick of their own as Annike Krahn fouled Morgan. However, replays showed Morgan was just outside of the box and it should have been a free kick instead. Nevertheless, Carli Lloyd buried the kick to give the US a 1-0 lead. The Americans would add an insurance goal at 84 minutes when Lloyd made a beautiful pass to Kelly O’Hara directly in front of the German net. That would prove to be the final.

England was placed in group F for the World Cup. England lost to rival France 1-0 in the opening match. The English won four straight matches all by identical 2-1 scores after that. England beat Mexico and Colombia in the group stage. Both England and France finished with six points but the French won the group via goal differential. In the round of 16, England beat Norway. After trailing 1-0 against Norway in the second half, England scored two goals in 15 minutes to win the match and advance to the quarterfinals. It was the first ever knockout stage win for England. England beat host nation Canada 2-1 in the quarterfinals, despite Canada dominating play thanks to two early goals for England.

England played defending champion Japan in the semifinals Wednesday in Edmonton. Despite Japan holding possession for 58% of the match, England outshot them 15-7. Both teams converted first half penalty kicks. Japan’s Aya Miyami converted hers at 33 minutes. Seven minutes later Fra Williams tied it for England with a penalty kick of her own. In the second half England misses three golden chances to take the lead, but couldn’t score. The game appeared to be headed to extra time until English defender Laura Bassett tried to kick it to English keeper Karen Bardsley late in stoppage time. BassettĀ  looked on horrified as the ball crossed over the line for an own goal. She was consoled by her teammates but Japan would advance as England found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 final score.

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Germany was looking for their third World Cup title in the last four events. Longtime manager Silvia Neid will retire next season. 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 five goals in six games with two shutouts.

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 Annike Krahn.

England is coached by Mark Sampson. England uses a 4-1-3-2 formation. England is more known for their defense but have scored nine goals in the tournament.

Keeper Karen Bardsley has conceded 7 goals in the tournament including 4 in the second half. Midfielder Karen Carney has two goals in the tournament as does Lucy Bronze. Midfielder Fara Williams has 2 goals and 2 assists. Defender Steph Houghton, forward Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor also have a goal each.

Both teams are saying the right things but motivation will be a factor, especially for Germany. Germany had brutal matches against France and the United States, two of the top 3 teams in the world. Popp said fourth place would be “rubbish.” For England, they want to atone for the devastating loss against Japan and beat Germany for the first time ever. Some would say England is playing with house money as they weren’t even supposed to make the semifinals. I think England pulls off the upset against an uninterested German team.

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