The 2019 Women’s FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals showdown between the United States and France is set. France is in the quarterfinals for the third straight time while the U.S. is in the quarterfinals for the eighth straight time.
This is a match that had been anticipated before the beginning of the tournament. In other words, it’s a match in the making. The U.S. is looking to retain their title and become the second team to do so. On the other hand, France is eager to win their first title and to do so home soil.
France eliminated Brazil in their Round of 16 matches. The U.S. eliminated Spain. However, both France and the U.S. faced difficult challenges in the Round of 16. This quarterfinals match is an even bigger challenge to both teams. The winner advances to the semifinals to face the winner of the match between England and Norway.
Both teams are very well-balanced. They both excel on the attack and on defense. France is capable of handling and dribbling the ball well, thus creating some good penetration. The U.S. can penetrate well and maintain ball control. Both France and the U.S. are capable of applying heavy pressure against opposing defenses.
However, the problem that both teams faced in their Round of 16 matches was being able to convert goals. A combination of only four shots-on-goal really hurts both teams. In the U.S.’s case, it took two penalties for them to get past Spain. The fact that the U.S.’s win is due to the awarding of two penalties is worrisome. So the U.S. cannot rely on penalties to beat France. In France’s case, they have to convert with every shot-on-goal and avoid wasting opportunities. Furthermore, both teams want to get on the board as quickly as possible. Wasting opportunities is unacceptable for both.
France plays very solid defense. The French defense can intercept the ball well and launch counter-attacks and eliminate opposing pressure. They can also clear the ball well and shut down attack threats. The U.S.’s ability to play defense was a cause for concern before the tournament began. But so far, the U.S. defense has managed to survive well by conceding only one goal. The U.S. defense manages to find a way to thwart scoring attempts from an opposing attack.
The American defense will have their hands full against a brilliant and dangerous French attack. The same thing goes for the French defense. Both the French and American defense is in for their biggest test so far this tournament. This game can very well be a frustrating one for both sides. It’s safe to say that both teams are evenly matched.
The match is taking place this Friday in Paris. With the great support of their home crowd, France would love nothing more than to send the defending champions home. France knows that this is their golden opportunity to draw closer to their first title. And they want to do it on home soil.
However, the U.S. may not be ready to give up just yet. As the U.S. enters this game as the number one team in the world, they’re clearly the favorite despite France’s home-field advantage. The main anticipation of this match is that anything can happen.