The first match of the Women's World Cup quarterfinals begins this afternoon, and it should be a good one. In fact, it is a pairing that many hoped would happen in the finals. Alas, top-ranked Germany face France in the quarterfinals, a team ranked 3rd by FIFA that seems to be playing better each match as the tournament progresses. The match kicks off at 1:00 p.m. and will air on FOX.
Germany has been the most impressively consistent team throughout the tournament. Forwards Anja Mittag and Celia Sasic each have five goals so far, and Germany wins include a 10-0 opening win over Cote d’Ivoire, a 4-0 win over Thailand, and an easy 4-1 victory over Sweden in the Round of 16.
Look anywhere on the field, and you will find a team loaded with talent. In addition to Mittag, Sasic, and keeper Nadine Angerer, the Germans have Dzsenifer Marozsan, a 23-year-old midfielder who leads the attack. Oh, and don't forget about midfielder Lena Goessling, who has three assists so far in the tournament.
For France, a 2-0 loss to Colombia proved to be a wake-up call. Since then, the team has gone on to beat Mexico 5-0 and South Korea 3-0. France's style of play is quite entertaining — relying on creative, quick passing that often leaves teams chasing.
France's top-scorers in the tournament are Eugenie Le Sommer and Marie-Laure Delie, who both have three goals. Le Sommer also earned two assists and has been France's most potent attacking threat so far. Their goal-scoring is typically unlocked by midfielder Louisa Necib, who is one of the best creative playmakers in the game. But Necib has been relatively quiet this tournament. Luckily, fellow midfielder Elodie Thomis has stepped up, netting a goal and an assist in the first four matches.
If France wants the chance to take down the dominant Germany, they are going to need a big game from Necib and the entire midfield. They will also need a complete game from their defense, who have only given up goals to Colombia leading up to this game.
This matchup should feature thrilling, end-to-end action. The winner faces the victor in the U.S. v. China match.
How to Watch
Time/Date: Friday, June 26, 1:00 p.m. PT
This is your Women's World Cup gamethread. Watch today's Germany v. France action with us.