The United States women's national soccer team have endured a topsy-turvy time in the inaugural 2017 Tournament of Nations.
They were shocked in their opener as they lost 1-0 to Australia in Seattle and then had to come back from 3-1 down to beat Brazil 4-3 in San Diego.
The hosts meet old foes Japan in the tournament closer at the StubHub Center in California on Thursday, and head coach Jill Ellis will be looking for a much more complete performance from her side.
Read on for a preview of what should be a fascinating clash, along with scheduling information and viewing details.
Date: Thursday, August 3
Time: 7 p.m. local, 10 p.m. ET, 3 a.m. BST (Friday)
TV Info: ESPN2 (U.S. only)
Live Stream: ESPN Player
Australia can wrap up the Tournament of Nations if they avoid defeat against Brazil at the StubHub Center on Thursday ahead of the United States' clash with Japan.
However, if the Matildas are defeated, the door will be open for the U.S. to take the title with a victory over Japan.
Per U.S. Soccer WNT, here is what the standings look like ahead of the final round of matches:
U.S. Soccer WNT @ussoccer_wnt
This is how the teams stack up after an exhilarating Day ✌️ at #ToN2017. A 🏆 will be crowned on Thursday in Carson: https://t.co/tgZ0CdEiwz https://t.co/uVDytBQHMn2017-7-31 11:00:03
Japan will not be easily turned over. They have yet to win so far in the tournament—drawing 1-1 with Brazil and losing 4-2 to Australia—but they have experience of facing the USWNT on major occasions.
In the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final, the U.S. thrashed Japan 5-2.
Four years earlier, though, it was the Japanese who came out on top in a final against the United States as they prevailed 3-1 on penalties to be crowned world champions.
The U.S. are vulnerable at the moment. They are the No. 1-ranked side in the world but have lost on home soil this year to No. 7 Australia, France (No. 3) and England (No. 5).
Japan are No. 6 in the world rankings and, although their record is poor against the U.S.—they have only beaten them once in regulation time in 34 meetings—they have the talent to cause their opponents problems on Thursday.
The main issue for Japan is that Ellis' side are likely to have been buoyed by their comeback victory against Brazil, which saw Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz score in the final 10 minutes to earn the win.
It was veteran Rapinoe's first goal for the USWNT since the 2015 World Cup after she spent much of last year recovering from knee surgery, and the 32-year-old was in impressive form, per Ian Darke of ESPN:
Ian Darke @IanDarke
USA women score 3 in last 11 mins to beat Brazil 4-3 in amazing comeback. Should give new belief to team. Megan Rapinoe a class apart.2017-7-31 05:50:10
With the U.S. likely eager to finish the tournament strongly, they will be desperate to claim a victory over Japan.
And with home support behind them and the momentum of the defeat of Brazil to spur them on, the USWNT will have huge confidence they can put in a top-class display.