Day 9, Match 19
England vs. Japan, Group B
Date and Location
July 5, Impuls Arena, Augsburg, Germany
Live on CBC TV and CBCSports.ca (Noon ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
With six points, Japan has already qualified for the knockout stage. The Asian powerhouse can wrap up first place in Group B with a win or draw against England.
The English are on the verge of qualifying for the quarter-finals, and are fortunate enough to be in control of their destiny. England would finish first in the group with a win over Japan.
The Europeans would also wrap up a quarter-final berth as the second-place team in Group B if they tie Japan or if Mexico loses or ties New Zealand.
The winner of Group B meets the second-place team in Group A in the quarter-finals. The runner-up in Group B faces the Group A winner.
The other Group B game
Mexico has plenty to play for when it meets New Zealand in Sinsheim on July 5 (Rogers Sportsnet, CBCSports.ca, Noon ET).
While New Zealand (pointless) has already been eliminated, the Mexicans (one point) are still in the hunt for a quarter-final berth - but just barely.
Mexico will qualify as the second place team if it defeats New Zealand and if Japan defeats England and if the combined margin is six goals or more (if the combined margin is exactly five and Mexico scores three more goals than England, the Mexicans will also finish second place).
Player to watch for England
Kelly Smith — England's star forward has yet to find the mark at this tournament, so look for the dangerous goal-scorer to break out of her scoring funk against the Japanese.
Player to watch for Japan
Homare Sawa — The veteran forward — she's competing in her fifth World Cup — exploded for three goals in a 4-0 win over Mexico, and will be looking to add to her tally against England.
The English perspective
"I think we need to improve our all round game. We haven't hit the mark yet, we know that but you also have to give credit to the teams we've played. Every game is tough. We just need to keep our composure, hopefully we can relax a little bit more, enjoy it and express ourselves against Japan," coach Hope Powell told FIFA.com.
The Japanese perspective
"This is an important game for us before going to the next stage. It's important for us to play against England as we did against Mexico, then we can gain confidence and produce a result whoever we play in the quarter-finals. I hope we can continue playing our brand of football, and not worrying about the result," coach Norio Sasaki told FIFA.com.
World Cup head-to-head
The only previous meeting between these two teams in international play at senior level occurred four years at the World Cup in China. On that day, Japan and England battled to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the group stage.