Tricky tests await England still at Women’s World Cup
Video: Ellen White putting England ahead in style against Japan
England’s bid for Women’s World Cup glory was boosted on Tuesday when Ellen White struck with a lob as good as any goal scored by the male team this year to send the Three Lionesses on their way to a 2-0 triumph over Japan that wrapped up top spot in Group B.
Despite their success, Hope Powell’s side are 28.0 on Betfair to get their hands on the silverware, and there is good reason to doubt their chances, as these statistics illustrate…
- Slow starts are not tolerated, with four of the five former champions victorious in every group game. The trophy claimers’ combined group stage record reads a ridiculous 14 wins and a draw from 15 games. That puts Germany and the winners of Wednesday’s Sweden v USA clash in the driving seat.
- England have made it into the quarter-finals and impressed in their final group stage encounter on each of the two previous occasions that they have qualified for the tournament, and both times they were put in their place in their first knockout tie with an emphatic 3-0 defeat.
- They haven’t won any of their last ten meetings with quarter-final opponents France, while their record against holders and favourites Germany – their most likely foes should they reach the final in Frankfurt – is even worse, with just two draws and 17 losses suffered in 19 collisions.
Of course it isn’t our intention to completely crush optimism though or show a lack of support for a successful England national team, so here are a few reasons to stay hopeful of an upset…
- The table-toppers in Japan’s group have gone on to be crowned champions in each of the last two editions and three of the five to date, an encouraging omen given that the competition has always had at least three groups.
- The defending champions competing on home soil sounds like a recipe for German glory but home advantage is minimal in the Women’s World Cup, with only one of the previous five hosts delivering.