CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE in VANCOUVER: United States take on Germany in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup aware of having the better record against the Europeans at this level.
The two sides have met three times before in World Cup finals with the Americans coming out on top in 1991 and 1999. However, the most recent meeting was at USA 2003 which went the way of Germany by a comprehensive 3-0.
Silvia Neid’s side will be hoping for a similar performance in Montreal to reach the final for the first time since they won the competition in 2007.
A humiliating exit in the quarter-finals on home soil four years ago has the team, ranked No1 in the world, more motivated than ever to reclaim the trophy.
The US have endured an even longer spell without being world champions sincde they triumphed in 1999. They reached the final in Germany last time out but lost on penalties to Japan.
Germany’s free-scoring attack will come up against a mean defence, as the US have not conceded in all their matches since Australia’s Lisa De Vanna struck past goalkeeper Hope Solo in their opening group game.
The European champions have scored a tremendous 20 goals so far in Canada, with Celia Sasic leading the race for the golden boot with six.
The match may be viewed simply as a battle of the goalkeepers. Solo has made 11 saves in the competition, while Nadine Angerer is similarly dominant and has the accolade of being the first player to receive the FIFA player of the year award in 2013.
Whoever wins will go on to the final in Vancouver to face the winner of the Japan-England semi-final being played on Wednesday in Edmonton.
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