The Women’s World Cup has been a really entertaining showcase of women’s football up to this point, and in many ways, has been an even bigger success than most fans could’ve imagined. Now, we find ourselves at the semi-final stage, and it truly does feel like things have never felt more important in the scape of the women’s game.
The Netherlands and Sweden are going to be going head to head with one another for a spot in the final, but in truth, the ‘big one’ when it comes to the semis, as reported by Forbes, will take place between England and the United States later on tonight.
One step beyond
These two nations have been on a collision course for quite some time now, with many fans anticipating this showdown since the draw for the tournament was first announced. England have arguably looked more stable than the US throughout the course of their first five games, but the only reason we’re really saying that is because Spain were able to push the Americans all the way in their Round of 16 tie.
This is a different ball game altogether, to the point where the US are quite clearly being positioned as the favourites. England won’t really care about that tag, because they know what they’re capable of, and they know just how much a win in this game would mean for the development of women’s football in the country.
Twelve months ago they sat back and watched the men’s team go out at the semi-final stage, which as the definition of a heartbreaker. Now, they’ve got a chance to go one step further.
As reported by BBC, even Hope Solo of the US seems to believe that this is going to be England’s best chance to beat them.
“When the Lionesses line up in Lyon on Tuesday they will have a better chance to beat the USA in a World Cup match than ever before.
Player for player, the American team is the stronger side and you have to think they will get through – but England have the better manager, tactically.
Old rivalries rekindled
We’re going to see tactics come into play in this game more than in any other match in this tournament so far, which is why I’m excited to see what Phil Neville has in store.
I have a new-found excitement and admiration for this England side because of how well they’ve been doing under Neville over the past 18 months.”
You have to question whether or not that mentality runs through the American team, too, or whether they’re just as confident as they have been throughout the entire tournament so far.
Their perceived arrogance has been a big negative thrown in their direction by many, but they won’t care one bit about that. They’re here to win: nothing more, nothing less.
Both nations are going to give it everything they’ve got, to the point where we can see this being one of the greatest Women’s World Cup semi-finals in the history of the game.