Old rivalries and new faces in Women's World Cup quarter-finals

Members of China's national team take part in a training session in Ottawa on June 24. China is one of the eight teams that are through to the Women's World Cup quarter-finals.
Members of China's national team take part in a training session in Ottawa on June 24. China is one of the eight teams that are through to the Women's World Cup quarter-finals. PHOTO: AFP

After three weeks of competition in Canada for the Fifa Women's World Cup, eight teams have managed to move closer towards setting their hands on the coveted trophy.

Here is a look at the four quarter-final matches which will happen over the weekend.

Germany vs France (Saturday, June 27, 4am)

As the world No. 1 Germans battle it out with the French (world No. 3), many are touting this clash at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal as one worthy of a final.

The Germans will have to beat favourites France to have a chance at reclaiming their title, after losing it in 2011.

While they have top goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who boasts of a reputation similar to that her male counterpart Manuel Neuer, France have Louisa Necib, who has been rated as one of the most influential playmakers in the women's football.

China vs United States (Saturday, June 27, 7.30am)

Old rivals meet again, in a replay of the 1999 Women's World Cup final, which saw China losing out to the US in a penalty shoot-out.

This time, they are determined to make up for that loss and have seen good performances from Wang Shanshan, who was pivotal in their 1-0 win against Cameroon on Saturday.

As for the US, the Olympic champions have to cope with the suspensions of key midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, as both were issued their second yellow cards against Colombia on Monday.

Hopes are pinned onto goalkeeper Hope Solo, the veteran letting in only one goal since the start of the competition.

Australia vs Japan (Sunday, June 28, 4am)

It will be another meeting of old rivals, in this all-Asian clash at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

After succumbing to a 0-1 loss to Japan in last year's Asian Cup final, Australia will be seeking to turn the tables on the defending World Cup champions tomorrow.

The Australian team boasts forwards Kyah Simon and Lisa de Vanna, who have accounted for almost all the goals scored at this competition.

However, Japan have also been in fine fettle, being the only team in the tournament to have won every game.

England vs Canada (Sunday, June 28, 7.30am)

After fighting back from being 0-1 down in the first half to beat Norway in their last-16 clash, England will be up against hosts Canada at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

A win will put England in semi-finals for the first time, and versatile Stephanie Houghton will be key in leading the English to making history.

But with captain Christine Sinclair, an 11-time Canadian Player of the Year, and the backing of home crowd, the Canadians will be equally eager to progress further, after reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2003.

hosr@sph.com.sg