MIAMI, July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- After four years of waiting, the United States finally has a chance to play Japan again for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™ title this Sunday, July 5 at 6:30PM/5:30C/3:30P on TELEMUNDO, NBCDeportes.com digital platforms and the NBC Deportes EN VIVO EXTRA mobile app. Sunday's game is a repeat of the Germany 2011 Women's World Cup final, a tactical, balanced and exciting game that remained tied until the penalty phase, when Japan scored the winning kick. The United States got its revenge the following year, beating Japan to take home the gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but beating Japan at the soccer World Cup has remained an obsession for the US women, who won the title in 1991 and 1999.
In preparation for this eagerly anticipated rematch, two NBC Deportes soccer experts – veteran narrator and commentator Sammy Sadovnik and former Mexican national team member and sports commentator Andrea Rodebaugh – shared some of their thoughts about what to expect from this historic game.
- The US has participated in all seven FIFA Women's World Cup™, winning two and taking second place once.
- The team's performance improved over the course of the tournament and it must keep up this drive under pressure in the final.
- Despite being undefeated in Canada, the US does not have a perfect record, having tied Sweden 0-0 in the first round.
- The US defense has been extremely effective, letting only one goal past up to this point.
- Coach Jill Ellis has favored an effective defensive strategy over spectacular offensive strikes.
- Goalkeeper Hope Solo hasn't had to do much so far thanks to her teammates' diligent defense, but she will have to stay on her toes to avoid any costly mistakes. She has kept the US goal safe for 523 minutes, letting in only a single ball in the team's first match against Australia.
- The US changed its formation in the semifinals against Germany, shifting from 1-4-4-2 in the group phase to 1-4-3-3, allowing for better control over the ball and a more effective offense.
- In Sunday's game, the US women must be patient and avoid giving possession to Japan, which is expert at controlling the ball.
- Alex Morgan will be key to the team's chances for success. After a less than stellar start, she recovered much of her form and confidence over the course of the tournament and is indispensable in steering her teammates toward the goal.
- Japan has also qualified for every Women's World Cup but has not brought home as much glory as the US, winning only once (Germany 2011).
- To beat the US, Japan will have to play a nearly perfect game and maintain its famed organization in both defense and offense.
- Its best course of action will be to pass the ball on quickly, keeping possession by taking advantage of the entire breadth of the field.
- At a disadvantage to the Americans in terms of strength and speed, the Nippon women should avoid individual direct challenges, opting instead to attack and defend as a group.
- They should be especially careful to avoid committing fouls near the penalty area or giving free or corner kicks to the US, which has an impressive record of accuracy in set pieces.
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