Group G of the women’s soccer tournament at the 2012 London Olympics features two teams considered to be two of the biggest contenders for the gold medal.
The two teams, the United States and France, just so happen to face each other in the Group’s opening match.
The United States enters the match as the two-time reigning Olympic gold medal winners. The squad will look to continue with their success at the Olympic Games, as they try to win their fourth gold medal in five tournaments since 1996.
France nearly ended the United States’ World Cup run last year before falling to the Americans in the semifinals. Led by Sonia Bompastor, the French will have to get past the U.S. again this year if they want an easier chance at the gold.
Out of the original field of 12 teams, eight will advance to the quarterfinals.
Both the United States and France, however, will have a chance to advance much further.
Where: Hampden Park, Glasgow
When: Wednesday, July 25th, 12:00 p.m. EST
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
United States’ Group Schedule
7/25- vs. France
7/28- vs. Colombia, 12:00 p.m. EST
7/31- vs. North Korea, 12:15 p.m. EST
France’s Group Schedule
7/25- vs. United States
7/28- vs. North Korea, 2:45 p.m. EST
7/31- vs. Colombia, 12:15 p.m. EST
The Group G opening match will play a large role in not only determining who wins the Group but also which squad will have a better chance of advancing past the quarterfinals. The winner of the Group will play whichever team finished third in either Group E (Great Britain, New Zealand, Cameroon, Brazil) or Group F (Japan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa).
Meanwhile, the second place team in Group G will advance to face one of the best teams from Group F, which features the defending Women’s World Cup champions, as well as a player who has scored over 130 international goals.
Lead Up to the Olympics
The United States has gone 14-1-1 this year, capping their pre-Olympic schedule with a 2-1 win over Canada. The U.S. enters the Olympics on a five-match win streak.
France has not lost since last year’s World Cup. The French continued their win streak with a recent 2-0 victory over Japan, the defending Women’s World Cup champions.
Players to Watch
The Americans are led by Abby Wambach, the winning goal scorer from the 2008 Olympic gold medal game. Alex Morgan and Hope Solo are also set to lead the United States in their quest for a fourth gold medal in five Olympic tournaments. Christie Rampone will become the team’s all-time leader in Olympic matches played in during the match against France. She will also attempt to become the first person to win three Olympic gold medals in soccer.
France is led by Bompastor, as well as Louisa Necib, whose ability on the attack is an area that could give the United States trouble in the match. Captain Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie further give the French a great chance to advance to a medal match.
One of the best matches in the women’s tournament will take place before the 2012 London Olympics officially open. However, it will be a treat for soccer fans to see two gold medal contending teams match up early on, as both teams enter the tournament after successfully completing their recent schedules.
France may give the United States even more of a run than they did in last year’s World Cup and has a chance to advance to the quarterfinals and beyond. But in this Group G opening match, Wambach, Morgan and the U.S. team will start their quest for a fourth gold medal on the right track by defeating France.