U.S., North Korea renew World Cup rivalry
Teams battled to a 2-2 draw four years ago in China
Day 3, Match 6
United States vs. North Korea, Group C
Date and Location
June 28, Rudolf-Harbig Stadion, Dresden, Germany
Live on Rogers Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca (Noon ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
Sweden should easily roll over Colombia in the day's earlier Group C game, which means the U.S. and North Korea will have to win in order to keep pace if they want to win the group. A draw wouldn't be disastrous, but a loss could effectively kill off one team's chances of advancing to the quarter-finals.
Setting the stage
According to the world rankings, the U.S. is the best team in Germany. But the Americans may have their work cut out to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
Few can match the U.S.'s World Cup record. Twice winners and never worse than third place, the Americans arrive expecting success. It will be a major surprise if they fail to top Group C but whether they can beat Brazil or Germany in the knockout stages is another question entirely.
The North Koreans, though underdogs, will not be overawed. They proved at the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics they are fast, fit and improving technically. It is worth noting they had the better of a 2-2 draw against the U.S. in their opening group match four years ago.
Player to watch for United States
Abby Wambach — The American is a tough, uncompromising competitor who is deadly in front of goal. Arguably the most powerful forward in women's football, Wambach's size (5-11) and sheer willpower makes her a handful for opposing defenders.
Player to watch for North Korea
Jo Yun Mi — A skilful playmaker, Jo Yun Mi possesses sublime skills on the ball, and is noted for her accurate passes and for creating dangerous scoring opportunities for her teammates.
"We are one of the favourites because we are a good team. We are looking forward to a fantastic tournament. The girls have lots of energy and are extremely confident." — coach Pia Sundhage told AFP
World Cup head-to-head
They have met three times at the World Cup, the last contest, in the first round of 2007, ending in a 2-2 draw. Previously, the Americans posted a pair of 3-0 wins in the group stage, in 1999 and 2003.