Japan to end England World Cup hopes
Excitement has reached fever pitch in England with the Ladies Soccer team just one step away from the World Cup Final. Fans are expected to stay up late into the night to watch them face reigning champions Japan in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Australia’s brave bid for glory ended at the hands of Japan in the quarter-finals and there is no doubt that England face a tall order. They struck twice early on to silence the home crowd and held off a late rally from Canada in the quarter-finals but Japan are a much stronger side.
They began their campaign in defeat against France in their opening fixture, although the French were desperately unlucky not to beat Germany in the knockout phase. Subsequent victories over Mexico and Colombia raised expectations for the Canada game and the players did not disappoint.
Early goals from Jodie Taylor and Bronze gave England a 2-1 victory and a best ever finish in the World Cup. It is the first time that the Lionesses have gone past the quarter-finals. Steph Houghton will provide the inspiration as skipper while Karen Carney has already netted twice. Bronze has chipped in with two crucial goals while Jodie Taylor played well against Canada.
The World Cup holders have conceded just twice in five games but were made to work hard by the Matildas in the quarter-final. They lost to England in 2011 but their fluid passing play and boundless energy will make this a long night for England.
Lying in wait in the final are the USA, our pre-tournament pick at 4.0. They defeated favourites Germany 2-0 on Wednesday morning after Celia Sasic missed a penalty. The momentum swung in favour of the Americans shortly afterwards with Carli Lloyd making no mistake form a spot-kick at the other end before Kelley O’Hara sealed the win.
The final is due to take place on Sunday night in Vancouver and Japan look the side most likely to be facing USA. Bookmakers make them favourites at a little better than even money with England priced at around 3-1 to cause an upset. Take Japan to win by two goals with England likely to go chasing the game, should they fall behind.
Japan to beat England @2.15 Sportsbet
Japan to win 2-0 @10.0 Ladbrokes