Mexico, England set for World Cup clash
Group B showdown could be a battle for 2nd place
Day 2, Match 4
Mexico vs. England, Group B
Date and Location
June 27, Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany
Live on Rogers Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca (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.
"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 FIFA.com
"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 FIFA.com
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.