The two favorites to win the Women’s World Cup before the start of the tournament will meet in the Quarterfinals on Friday. This was always likely to happen after the bracket was announced, but now it has come to fruition and either hosts France or the defending champion United States will see their tournament come to an abrupt end. The loser is sure to be disappointed, while the winner will immediately become the favorite to win it all. Whichever country is victorious will face either England or Norway for a spot in the World Cup Final.
France vs. United States
- Date and Time: June 28, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
- US Television Coverage: FOX
- Betting Line: United States PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
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Les Bleues got off to a great start at their World Cup. France opened the tournament with a convincing 4-0 win over South Korea, but they have been unable to match that form following that first win. Norway nearly earned a result against France in their second match, and Nigeria held France scoreless until a Wendie Renard penalty conversion late.
They had a tough test against Brazil in the Round of 16, and they nearly came up short. France controlled much of the early game, but they didn’t score until Valerie Gauvin netted in the 52nd minute. Brazil slowly started to tilt the field after that though, leveling 11 minutes later and keeping that pressure up until the fulltime whistle. Captain Amandine Henry ended up being the hero by scoring in extra time to send France through to the quarterfinals.
The USWNT hammered Thailand in their first match, and the Americans followed that up with a convincing performance in a 3-0 win over Chile. Neither team was much of a challenge, but the Stars and Stripes finally received a real test when they faced Sweden for the top spot in Group F. The USWNT didn’t have as much success against the Swedes and allowed a couple real chances in the win.
Spain proved to be a very difficult opponent though. The US quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick, but a defensive lapse led to Spain resetting the score just two minutes afterwards. Spain’s midfield continually bottled up the US attack, yet a second penalty late in the second half proved to be decisive. Rapinoe stepped up to the spot and converted again to put the USWNT in the quarters.
France Player to Watch
Amandine Henry was the Player of the Match against Brazil after a lovely run and finish off of a free kick in extra time. Henry has been fantastic throughout the World Cup, and she has shown why she is considered one of the top talents in the world. She isn’t primarily a goal scorer, but she has netted twice in France.
United States Player to Watch
Alex Morgan is not at her best. Morgan did not appear fit in the USWNT’s match against Spain a few days ago, and she uncharacteristically missed a few good chances. That leaves Jill Ellis with a decision to make. Morgan is the best forward on the USWNT when healthy, but there is definitely something wrong. She might start Christen Press or Carli Lloyd instead of Morgan on Friday, and it would be difficult to find fault with that decision.
France vs. United States Free Picks
It will be a bitter pill to swallow for whichever team loses this match. Neither side deserves to go out in the quarters, yet one team will be making an early exit. I see this being very close, but I’ll give France the edge.
France vs. United States Prediction: France 2, United States 1 (aet)
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