The 2015 Women’s World Cup will officially draw to a close when the USA meets Japan in Vancouver at 9am Monday Morning AEST, in what is a reply of the 2011 decider.
Neither side has lost a game in the lead up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup final and will be at full strength for what is sure to be an exhilarating contest.
Currently ranked second in the world, the USA has won two Women’s World Cups previously and entered the 2015 tournament red-hot favourites following an impressive lead-in.
Drawn in Group D alongside Australia, Sweden and Nigeria, the United States got their campaign at the Women’s World Cup off to the best possible start with a convincing 3-1 win over the Matildas.
Expected to face their toughest assignment in Sweden, the US dominated a good portion of the match but were held to a 0-0 draw; advancing to the Round of 16 atop the group after delivering Nigeria a 1-0 defeat.
Undoubtedly drawn on the tough side of the knockout stages, the US were held scoreless by Colombia at halftime in their first do-or-die encounter, but found the net twice in the second half to ensure passage through to the quarterfinals.
Drawn against AFC mainstays China, the US again took a half to find their feet but set up a semi-final blockbuster with Germany thanks to a 51st minute goal from Carli Lloyd.
In what many thought should have been the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final, the US and Germany locked in a typically fierce battle from kick-off in the Wednesday morning semi-final, but it was the United States who would eventually find their way to the decide thanks to a 69th minute, albeit contentious penalty scored by Lloyd and an 84th minute strike by Kelley O’Hara.
The reigning world and Asian champions, Japan have done enough to make their second-consecutive Women’s World Cup final and appear in the right form for an upset win on Monday morning.
Drawn in Group C alongside Cameroon, Switzerland and Ecuador, the Nadeshiko began their title defence with a gritty 1-0 win over the Swiss in Vancouver on June 8th.
Expected to be troubled by Cameroon, who had seen off Ecuador 6-0 in their opening fixture, Japan were impressive in their ability to control the ball and posted a comfortable 2-1 win; progressing atop the pool with another 1-0 win over the South Americans.
Having drawn Pool A third placegetters the Netherlands in the Round of 16, Japan was not expected to be troubled, however their inability to capitalise on wholesale chances saw them post arguably their most unimpressive effort at the 2015 World Cup; scraping through with a 2-1 win.
Lucky to progress past the Matildas thanks to an 87th minute goal to Mana Iwabuchi, Japan were held to 1-1 by England in their Thursday morning semi-final until the final minute of extra time, when the Three Lionesses’ Laura Bassett scored an unfortunate own-goal.
USA vs Japan Overview
Neither the USA nor Japan have lost a game in the lead-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup final and will be brimming with confidence, which is sure to make this an absolutely thrilling contest.
While doing enough to get the job done at each stage so far, Japan have appeared to have lacked the killer instinct that if rife in the US team, and they will need to step up their game if they are any chance of success.
Both teams will look to control the ball from kick-off and the result is sure to hinge on which nation can do a better job in supplying their attackers with legitimate goal-scoring chances.
Japan are sure to stick with the USA for the game’s entire 90 minutes, however we believe the Americans may be a little too classy for the defending champions, and will lift the Women’s World Cup for a record third time following a low-scoring affair.