FIFA Women's World Cup: Semis begin with top-ranked Germany vs. U.S.
England remains dark horse in final 4
Familiar foes Germany and the United States open the semifinal round at the 2015 Women's World Cup Tuesday at Olympic Stadium in Montreal (7:00 p.m. ET), while England plays in their first-ever semifinal match against Japan on Wednesday at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (5:00 p.m. ET).
Here's a breakdown of both matches.
All statistics courtesy of Infostrada Sports
Germany vs. United States
The top-ranked Germans are very familiar with their second-ranked rivals, having met the Americans in a whopping 31 previous matches. Unfortunately for the tournament favourites, the U.S. has had a distinct edge in play over the years with 20 wins, four losses and seven draws.
The teams have only met twice in the World Cup semifinals and have split those two decisions. The U.S. won 5-2 in China in 1991, while Germany took a 3-0 victory on American soil in 2003.
Their only other World Cup meeting took place in 1999 when the U.S. won 3-2. Of the three meetings, the winner has gone on to claim the top prize every time.
However, it's been more than two years since they've met in international play. Their last match was a friendly in April 2013, which concluded with a 3-3 draw.
A German victory would end an 11-game winless streak (five draws, six losses) against the U.S. that dates back to their 2003 semifinal match.
Despite the lopsided record, these teams have a lot in common going in to this crucial match. They are the only teams with more than one World Cup title and both have a clean sheet in the knockout round ahead of the deciding match.
Japan vs. England
Compared to the first semifinal battle foes, Japan and England are fairly unknown to each other. In only three meetings, the Lionesses are unbeaten, having a win and two draws against the reigning champions.
Two of those games occurred in past World Cup group stages. In the last World Cup, Japan fell 2-0, but went on to claim the trophy while England failed to advance past the quarter-finals.
Japan seems to have the advantage this time around. They are the only team that has won all five of this year's World Cup games.
The feat has only been accomplished three other times and each of those teams went on to win the whole thing that year (U.S. in 1991, Norway in 1995 and Germany in 2003).
England is untested beyond the quarter-finals in their three World Cup appearances. Among this year's semifinalists, they are the lone squad to have never won the prized title.