The Women's World Cup has produced a wide array of results during its first two days of action. Host nation Canada kicked things off with a stoppage-time penalty kick to defeat China 1-0, and the Netherlands matched that score against New Zealand in the ensuing game.
Things were a little different on Sunday. Norway began the day with a dominant 4-0 victory over Thailand; however, not to be outdone, Germany, the world's No. 1 team, demoralized the Ivory Coast, winning by a score of 10-0—the second-most lopsided result in Women's World Cup history.
Monday will mark the first time we see four matches in a single day, and it's a jam-packed schedule. Sweden will look to get off to a hot start against Nigeria to put itself in a good position going forward in the Group of Death, Cameroon will attempt to shock the world against Ecuador, the United States opens its redemption tour against Australia and defending champion Japan will aim to take down Switzerland.
Needless to say, you won't want to miss a moment of the ensuing action. So, to ensure that doesn't happen, here's a look at the essential viewing information for Monday's group fixtures, followed by a look at the match of the day.
Monday's World Cup Schedule
|2015 Women's World Cup: Monday Schedule|
|D||Sweden vs. Nigeria||4 p.m.||Fox|
|C||Cameroon vs. Ecuador||7 p.m.||FS2|
|D||United States vs. Australia||7:30 p.m.||FS1|
|C||Japan vs. Switzerland||10 p.m.||FS1|
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Match of the Day
United States vs. Australia
The United States enters the World Cup looking for a shot at redemption after losing the 2011 final to Japan following a series of missed penalty kicks by the Americans. Just in case you need a refresher, here's a look at why the Americans are out for revenge this time around:
That may have been four years ago, but during an interview with Paul Vercammen and Michael Martinez of CNN.com, midfielder Tobin Heath confessed, "I'm still not over it." We can speculate several other members of the team feel the same way.
The Americans will need to be careful out of the gate Monday. They didn't get off to a smooth start in their last friendly against South Korea, and considering Australia boasts one of the tournament's best strikers in Lisa De Vanna, an early lapse in concentration could put the world's No. 2 team in an early hole.
De Vanna will test the Americans early and often, as Australia's 4-3-3 formation tends to press high up the field in an effort to apply plenty of pressure to its opposition. The United States will need to keep its shape in the back and depend on help from the talented yet inexperienced Meghan Klingenberg, who figures to get the start for the Americans.
Behind that American defense will be goalkeeper Hope Solo. The 2011 World Cup Golden Glove winner has made recent headlines for all the wrong reasons, as a report from Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN.com gives an unflattering look at her arrest due to two domestic violence charges.
If Solo is a distraction on the pitch, it could be disastrous for the Americans. However, manager Jill Ellis has reinforced her faith in Solo, recently coming forth with this statement during an interview with Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.com:
"Hope's been fantastic. That [case] was a long time ago. I'll be honest, we've moved on, and she's been a fantastic player and teammate. None of that has even resonated with us, and I'm sure some of the players aren't even aware of it."
On the other end of the pitch is a slew of options at the forward position for the United States. However, the team is likely to be without star Alex Morgan, who has missed nearly two months of action with a bone bruise in her left knee.
A recent report from Carlisle stated Morgan was a full participant in the team's most recent practice and that she is close to 100 percent. Although, it's likely Ellis will err on the side of caution and opt to ensure her star forward is completely healed before sending her into action.
That said, we should expect to see a combination of experienced 35-year-old veteran Abby Wambach, the speedy Sydney Leroux and the scintillating Christen Press. While versatility is certainly a big asset up front for the United States, Ellis still needs to figure out which two players will give the team its best chance to accumulate goals.
The Americans hold an undefeated record against the Matildas, going 22-0-2 all time while scoring 83 goals and conceding just 20. However, the Australians have been making a push up the world rankings in recent years and now sit at No. 10 overall.
This will certainly be a pivotal match for both teams as they attempt to get off to a hot start in the Group of Death.