Women’s World Cup 2019: What to look out for on day nine

Women's World Cup 2019: What to look out for on day nine

Jill Roord scored an injury-time winner for the Netherlands in their opening Group E match against New Zealand
Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019
Host nation: France Dates: 7 June – 7 July 2019
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and the BBC Sport website and app

England confirmed their place in the World Cup’s last 16 with a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Friday, but Scotland’s hopes of progression were dealt a blow as they lost 2-1 to Japan.

What does day nine at the Women’s World Cup have in store as Group E takes centre stage?

Who’s playing?

The equation is simple for the Netherlands and Canada on Saturday. Win their respective Group E matches and both will reach the last 16 before facing each other on Thursday, 20 June.

The Netherlands and Cameroon begin the World Cup weekend action at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes (14:00 BST).

Canada then face New Zealand at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble (20:00 BST)

Where can I follow the games?

BBC Sport will have live coverage of every World Cup match across TV, radio, the Red Button and online from the group stages all the way through to the final.

First up on Saturday, BBC One will show Netherlands v Cameroon from 13:45 BST.

Canada v New Zealand will then be available on the Red Button from 19:45 BST, while there will also be live text coverage of both matches on the BBC Sport website.

Players to watch

Netherlands v Cameroon

Lieke Martens was named Fifa’s best Women’s Player in 2017
Lieke Martens
Nationality: Dutch Position: Winger Club: Barcelona Age: 26

Named Fifa’s Best Women’s Player of 2017, Netherlands and Barcelona winger Lieke Martens offers a direct attacking threat down the left wing.

Martens, who contributed three goals and two assists as the Netherlands were crowned European champions in 2017, scored her nation’s first Women’s World Cup goal in 2015 and would become the first Dutch woman to score at three major tournaments should she find the net in France this summer.

The 26-year-old could be instrumental if Cameroon allow their opponents to get in to their stride in Valenciennes.

Canada v New Zealand

Christine Sinclair
Nationality: Canadian Position: Forward Club: Portland Thorns Age: 36

All eyes remain on Canada captain Christine Sinclair, who is just four goals away from becoming the all-time top goalscorer – male or female – in international football.

With 181 goals for her country since her debut in 2000, Sinclair is a crucial player for a Canadian side whose last three World Cup wins have been by a 1-0 scoreline.

Competing in her fifth World Cup, Canada’s most-capped player turned 36 on Wednesday and could be the difference against a resolute New Zealand side.

What are Saturday’s key stats?

  • The Netherlands and Cameroon are set for a first meeting. The Dutch have never previously faced African opposition at a World Cup.
  • All three of Cameroon’s World Cup defeats have been by a single-goal margin.
  • However, Cameroon were the last African side to beat a European side at the World Cup, defeating Switzerland 2-1 in 2015.
  • It ended goalless when Canada and New Zealand met in the World Cup group stage in 2015.
  • Canada have never won their opening two World Cup matches, but they are unbeaten in their last nine matches and have kept eight clean sheets in that run.
  • Meanwhile, New Zealand are still looking for their first win at a World Cup.

What are the big stories of the day?

Substitute Jill Roord’s dramatic last-gasp header gave Sarina Wiegman’s Netherlands a winning start against New Zealand on Tuesday, but Roord admitted her team-mates were “nervous” in their opener against the Kiwis.

Coach Wiegman criticised her side for being “too slow” as their second World Cup campaign got under way, following their debut on home soil four years ago, and will hope to confirm a second successive last-16 appearance with a more assured performance against Cameroon.

“We were lucky because our three substitutes contributed to an outstanding result. It flags the quality of our team that the subs are ready to play, so I’m pleased with the situation,” Wiegman said.

New Zealand will need to pick themselves up from that late defeat – described as “heartbreaking” by boss Tom Sermanni – if they are to salvage their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Still seeking a first World Cup win in their fifth tournament appearance, the Football Ferns come up against the fifth-best side in the world in Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s Canada who, ominously for New Zealand, “got the nerves out” against Cameroon according to goalscorer Kadeisha Buchanan.

Buchanan added: “For sure we are going to come back stronger for the next game and keep the momentum going. We will be better.”

Did you see?

VAR gives both a penalty and a retake after Girelli misses her first attempt

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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