2015 Women’s World Cup: Group C Contenders

1 Jun

052015-soccer-Group-C-split-pi-mp.vadapt.955.high.0Three debutante teams compose this group along with current Women’s World Cup holder Japan. No, the draw wasn’t rigged but I understand why you might think it. Group C could best be described as the wildcard group. Each team has the potential to move on. Each team has the potential to implode dramatically. How will it all turn out? I don’t even want to venture to guess.

Group Location
The group is based out of Vancouver for the first two group matches. Two teams then head to Edmonton and the other two head to Winnipeg for their last group stage match. All matches will take place at BC Place, which has a seating capacity of almost 60,000. This is the locale for the final on July 5.

BC_Place_2011_WhitecapsHere are some facts about Vancouver:

  • It is one of a few cities in the world where you can ski and swim on the same day.
  • Hall of Fame Chef Hidekazu Tojo invented the California roll at his restaurant, Tojo’s.
  • The Skybridge is the world’s longest cable-supported transit-only bridge.
  • The international environmental organization Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver back in 1971.

1621631_full-lndTeam Cameroon
Les Lionnes are a team on the rise. They made their Olympic debut in 2012 and reached the final of the 2014 African Women’s Championship. Confident is the best way to describe this team at the moment. They have a good chance of making it to the round of 16, provided their defensive playing style can hold. Against teams with offensive thrust they may find themselves too worn down to launch attacks of their own.

FIFA ranking: 53rd
Best ever finish: 2015 is their first appearance at the WWC

Strength(s): stable defensive unit
Weakness(es): struggle to score goals

International power player: Annette Ngo Ndom, goalkeeper
Player(s) to watch: Gaelle Enganamouitt, forward; Christine Manie, defender

Coach: Enow Ngachu
Team nickname: Les Lionnes

Ecuador were the last team to qualify, and they did so via a two-game playoff against Trinidad and Tobago. The play-off resulted from finishing third at the Copa America Femenina behind top guns Brazil and Colombia. This team acquitted themselves well against both of those teams so they know what is needed to take on Japan and other experienced squads. Women’s football is just now growing beyond its infancy in Ecuador. A good showing here–and maybe even a run into the group of 16–would be boon for the country and the women’s football.

Fun fact: At 26, Vanessa Arauz is the youngest coach in the history of the WWC. She also is the first woman to qualify as a top level coach in Ecuador. Game changer.

FIFA ranking: 48th
Best ever finish: 2015 is their first appearance at the WWC

Strength(s): tactically disciplined
Weakness(es): lack creativity in attack

International power player: Shirley Berruz, goalkeeper
Player(s) to watch: Andrea Pesantes, midfielder

Coach: Vanessa Arauz
Team nickname: La Tricolor, or Three Colors

trifemenina1Team Japan
The reigning world champions. Could they have asked for a better group? Yes and no. The worry here may not be if they can get into the next round but, rather, how tested will they be getting there. They’ve been slowly building towards a successful defensive of their title over the past couple years. And with their first ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup victory in hand coming to Canada, they are poised to continue their winning ways.

FIFA ranking: 4th
Best ever finish: Winners, 2011

Strength(s): passing game is arguably the best in the world
Weakness(es): lack physicality

International power player: Aya Miyama, midfielder
Player(s) to watch: Mana Iwabuchi, forward

Coach: Norio Sasaki
Team nickname: n/a

japan-womens-football-tea-007Team Switzerland
This is the first major tournament Switzerland has ever qualified for so you know they’ll be eager to just get on with it. They have perhaps the best shot of all the other newbies this year of moving past the group stage. They can score goals. They can stop goals. The key though will be whether or not they are able to maintain focus when taking on more experienced players and teams.

FIFA ranking: 19th
Best ever finish: 2015 is their first appearance at the WWC

Strength(s): being drawn in this group
Weakness(es): inexperienced as a group playing top level football

International power player: Lara Dickenmann, forward
Player(s) to watch: Ramona Bachmann, midfielder

Coach: Martina Voss-Tecklenberg
Team nickname: La Nati

June 8: Cameroon vs Ecuador and Japan vs Switzerland
June 12: Switzerland vs Ecuador and Japan vs Cameroon
June 16: Switzerland vs Cameroon and Ecuador vs Japan

– hopechaser

4 Responses to “2015 Women’s World Cup: Group C Contenders”

  1. andrea June 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    These are excellent previews – thanks so much! I’m so excited I can hardly wait!!!

    • hopechaser June 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

      Glad you like them!

  2. mygypsyspirit June 1, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    I think I like Japan (obvious pick, really) and Ecuador here.

  3. hopechaser June 2, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

    I’m all over Ecuador if only because their coach is such a trailblazer.

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