Today marks the start of Round 3 of the Women's World Cup group stage. This is where everything gets decided. Groups A and B play, with Canada currently sitting at the top of Group A and Germany on top of Group B. With 16 of the 24 teams advancing, those battling for third place will want to ensure they stretch their goal differential to help ensure they can advance to the next round.
Group A Standings
|TEAM NAME||GOAL +/-||POINTS|
Group B Standings
|TEAM NAME||GOAL +/-||POINTS|
Watch and discuss this group stage action with us.
Players to Watch
Thailand v. Germany: After struggling against Norway, Thailand went on to beat the Ivory Coast 3-2 thanks to two goals from Orathai Srimanee, who made great runs into the box to get her head and foot on crosses. While Germany has loads of talent, striker Anja Mittag has been the most impressive, scoring 4 goals. But midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan could be the key to Germany's longevity in this World Cup. She's the engine of Germany's attack, and Mittag's goal against Norway came from a deflection off a long-range Marozsan shot.
Côte d'Ivoire v. Norway: Josee Nahi is one of the few Ivory Coast players who plays abroad. She's scored 6 goals in 17 matches for Zvezda 2005 in Russia. She is a strong, physical striker who found the back of the net against Thailand. For Norway, 19-year-old striker Ada Stolsmo Hegerberg scored one goal against Thailand, but could have easily had more. With Ivory Coast showing more attacking prowess than defensive savvy, this could be a breakout game for Hegerberg.
Netherlands v. Canada: While the 18-year-old Vivianne Miedema is more well known, don't discount Netherlands' only goal-scorer so far in the World Cup: Lieke Martens. Her goal was a beauty. While Canada's defense will surely be watching Miedema, they'll want to ensure they tightly mark the 22-year-old Martens. Canada has only scored once so far in this World Cup, and it was a penalty kick in the 92nd minute. They'll need a strong performance from midfielder Sophie Schmidt if they want to put Christine Sinclair in more dangerous positions.
China v. New Zealand: China's 1-0 win over the Netherlands was thanks to a strong defensive effort. The team has only allowed one goal so far, and that was a penalty against Canada. Their defense is organized by captain Wu Haiyan, who at just 22 years old is a poised, smart defender who already has 52 international caps. On the other side, New Zealand is led by defender and captain Abby Erceg of the Chicago Red Stars. They've also allowed just one goal this tournament.
How to Watch
Match #1: Thailand (#29 FIFA Ranking) v. Germany (#1)
Date/Time: Monday, June 15, 1 p.m. PT
Online: FOX Sports Go (TV subscription needed), FOX Soccer 2 Go (paid service, no TV subscription required). NBC Deportes En Vivo also offers a Spanish-language streaming service.
Match #2: Ivory Coast (#67) v. Norway (#11)
Match #3: Netherlands (#12) v. Canada (#8)
Match #4: China (#16) v. New Zealand (#17)
This is your Day 8 Women's World Cup Gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.