Mexico, England set for World Cup clash

All eyes will be on star forward Kelly Smith when England takes on Mexico Monday at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany (Rogers Sportsnet,, 11:45 am ET).

Group B showdown could be a battle for 2nd place

English forward Kelly Smith is one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the women's game. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Day 2, Match 4

Mexico vs. England, Group B

Date and Location

June 27, Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany

Broadcast details

Live on Rogers Sportsnet and (11:45 am ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

If Japan beats New Zealand as expected, the pressure will be both Mexico and England to earn three points and keep pace with the Asians. Again, if Japan wins, a tie would leave things pretty wide open in Group B. But if Japan drops points against the Kiwis, Mexico and England have a great chance to jump out front.

Setting the stage

These are two nations who share long and storied football traditions, but where the development of women's soccer has been hampered by the popularity of the men's professional game.

Having recently launched a domestic Women's Super League, and with an eye on the 2012 London Olympics, England will want to make a big impression in Germany. Quarter-finalists on their previous appearances (1995, 2007) the English will view this as a must win opener.

Mexico showed their pedigree with a huge upset in qualifying when beating the U.S., and pushing Canada hard in the Final of the CONCACAF tournament. The speed of striker Maribel Dominguez and the long range shooting of Dinora Garza can cause problems for England.

Player to watch for Mexico

Maribel Dominquez — Dominguez combines classic goal-poaching instincts, power and strength, and great technical skill. A threat to score every time she's in the penalty area, the experienced Mexican is also capable of dropping back and creating her own scoring chances by using her speed to take defenders on one-on-one.

Player to watch for England

Kelly Smith — Talented, committed and impact: they are all apt descriptions of England's all-time leading scorer. Smith's skill and reputation has made her one of the most dangerous scorers in the women's game. She's also shown great character, battling through serious injuries and depression to prolong her successful career.

Mexican perspective

"England [is] one of tournament favourites and boast several big-name players, one of the best infrastructures anywhere in the women's game and the new Super League." — coach Leonardo Cuellar told

English perspective

"The standard of top-level women's football in this country has definitely improved and we are in a better place now in terms of players than we have ever been." — coach Hope Powell told

World Cup head-to-head

England and Mexico have never faced off at the World Cup. The only previous match between the two nations saw England win 5-0 in a friendly in 2005.