Women's World Cup: Team of Round 2 of Games

Andrew Gibney@@gibney_aFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2015

WINNIPEG, MB - JUNE 08:  Julie Johnston
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We’re are ready for what will be a very exciting set of final group games at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but before they kick off, let’s look back and pick out our Team of Round 2.

Goalkeeper

There was only one choice here, and that's Colombia’s Sandra Sepulveda. Brought in after missing the game against Mexico with a knock, the 27-year-old was excellent against France—the highlight being her fingertip save to keep out Elise Bussaglia’s curling effort.

#FRA Surely a goal is coming for France. They need to calm down. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/bQ9bzO9geE

— Womens Football Comp (@Jigsawwill) June 13, 2015

Colombia now face England in Montreal. The South Americans will know that with four points already secured, a draw could be good enough to win the group.

Defence

At right-back, there had to be a spot for Norway’s Maren Mjelde. Not only did she have a good game against the free-flowing Germany attack, but she also scored an amazing free-kick to earn Norway a deserved point.

#NOR much better in the second. Here's @MarenMjelde free kick. #GERNOR #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/ZAz7v7v82M

— Womens Football Comp (@Jigsawwill) June 12, 2015
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The United States may have struggled for goals against Sweden, but they can thank Julie Johnston for being able to keep a clean sheet.

When Sweden did venture forward, the Chicago Red Stars centre-back was there to mop up the danger. Her positioning will be vital in containing the pace and movement of Nigeria on Tuesday.

Johnston will want to do a similar job to that produced by Australia’s Alanna Kennedy. The Matildas took note of where Sweden struggled against the Nigerian attack, and with Elise Kellond-Knight in front of the back four, Kennedy and partner Laura Alleway were able to deal with most of the African’s forays forward.

Although she didn’t start, the introduction of Alex Greenwood at left-back for England changed the game against Mexico. Her fantastic left-foot provided danger and width, and she even set up England's second goal.

Midfield

Australia were very well organised against Nigeria, and when they looked to push forward, the play of Emily van Egmond was key to their attack. The front three were excellent, but the midfielder was the linchpin of most of their attacking threat.

Australia now face a tough game against Sweden on Tuesday, but they know a draw should be enough to see them advance to the last 16.

Germany may not have picked up a victory against Norway, but they will have been delighted to see Dzsenifer Marozsan back on the pitch. During their first-half dominance, everything was going through the Frankfurt playmaker.

Anja Mittag scored Germany’s only goal of the game, but it came on the back of a Marozsan shot. She and Germany will hope there is more to come in this tournament.

Playing just behind the forwards is England’s Fran Kirby. “Mini Messi,” as coach Mark Sampson called her, relayed by Sky Sports, was excellent against Mexico—her first World Cup start—and a moment of brilliance and a calm finish helped the Lionesses win their first game in Canada.

They now face a tough test against Colombia, but they know a close game should be enough to see them advance to the last 16.

Forwards

Our forward line scored six goals over their respective games. Colombia’s Lady Andrade takes the plaudits for scoring a fantastic opener against France, securing her nation's first win at a Women’s World Cup.

Kyah Simon scored twice against Norway back in the 2011 World Cup, and the Sydney FC forward was at it again against Nigeria. After Lisa De Vanna’s run, Simon superbly floated the ball over Nigeria 'keeper Precious Dede to open the scoring.

She sealed the win in the second half, getting on the end of Samantha Kerr’s lovely ball over the top.

Switzerland were struggling for goals against Ecuador on Friday. Only 2-0 up at half-time following a hatful of chances, they were being frustrated.

Unfortunately for Ecuador, it wouldn’t last. Fabienne Humm scored the fastest hat-trick in Women’s World Cup history—timed at just five minutes, reported by BBC Sport—but she was still upstaged by her strike partner, Ramona Bachmann.

#SUI Ramona... Bachmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! @bachmannr10 pic.twitter.com/lL244JUz8M

— Womens Football Comp (@Jigsawwill) June 13, 2015

The Rosengard forward has been one of the stars of the tournament. Her direct running style and skill on the ball are a delight to watch, and she picked up a hat-trick of her own as the Swiss went on to win 10-1.

This sets up an exciting final match against Cameroon. Both sides have three points apiece and a good goal difference. Both deserve to go through, but only one can finish in second place.

Whom did we miss? Who will make an impact in the last set of group games? Let us know in the comments section below!

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