Previewing final games in Groups A, B

July, 4, 2011

France and two-time defending Women's World Cup champion Germany, both of which have already advanced to the quarterfinals, meet to determine the top spot in Group A. Germany must win to win the group. France wins the group with a win or draw, thanks to a better goal differential. Japan can clinch Group B with a win or draw against England, which can top the group with a win or advance with a draw or loss, provided Mexico could not make up its considerable goal differential if it defeats New Zealand.

•  Germany has had plenty of scoring chances in its first two group-stage matches but it has not been able to finish them. Only three of Germany's 15 shots on goal have found the back of the net. Forward Birgit Prinz, the all-time leading goal scorer at the Women's World Cup with 14 goals, has not recorded an on-target shot in the tournament and has been substituted in both matches.

•  Germany is 13-1-2 in the group stage at the Women's World Cup, with its lone defeat in 1995, a 2-0 loss to Sweden. Germany is unbeaten in its last 14 Women's World Cup matches overall (13-0-1), a tournament record.

•  Japan's passing accuracy has fueled its winning ways through the first two group-stage matches. Japan has completed 824 of its 1,068 attempted passes (77.2 percent) and one of its five goals this tournament came from a 14-pass sequence, the longest buildup to a goal this tournament.

•  By winning all three of its group-stage matches, France and Japan could join the Women's World Cup elite. Six countries have done it in previous Cups: the United States (three times), Germany (twice), Norway (twice), China and Brazil.

•  Nigeria is winless in its last nine matches (0-8-1) at the Women's World Cup, which matches the longest winless streak in tournament history. Nigeria's opponent, Canada, is hoping to extend Nigeria's winless streak and maintain a different streak of its own. Canada has earned at least one point in the group stage in four previous Women's World Cup appearances. Both Nigeria and Canada have been eliminated from the tournament.



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