2019 Women’s World Cup Group B
A number of entertaining games are on the cards in Group B as the likes of Germany, China, Spain and South Africa will face each other in the 2019 Women’s World Cup group stages. Germany have big ambitions for the upcoming showpiece tournament in France, but China, Spain and South Africa should not be written off just yet.
During their golden era (2003-2007) Germany won two World Cup trophies, but they have been struggling to win a medal at the major tournaments ever since. Die Nationalelf are determined to bring glory days back to Germany and they will surely go all guns blazing at China in the opening match of their 2019 Women’s World Cup campaign.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s women were producing thrilling displays in the qualifiers, with the team recording seven wins, while suffering only one defeat in the process. Germany were beaten by Iceland in front of home fans in October, 2017, but it has to be noted that they defeated the likes of Slovenia, Czech Republic, Faroe Islands and got their revenge on Iceland in September, 2018. The triumph over the Icelanders helped die Nationalelf clinch top position in Group E and secure their place at the 2019 World Cup finals.
Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg can count on a number of prolific footballers, but, no doubt, all eyes will be on Dzsenifer Marozsan when Germany kick off their 2019 World Cup campaign. The 27-year-old Olympique Lyon midfielder was in a fine form in the 2018/2019 season and she put icing on the cake with a 4-1 triumph over Barcelona in the Champions League final. You should bear in mind that Maroszan has netted 18 goals for the national team to date.
Wolfsburg duo Alexandra Popp (forward) and Almuth Schult (goalkepeer) will be the women to watch in Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team as well. Alexandra Popp take part at the World Cup finals for the third time in her career and seeing that she scored 6 goals on the road to France, the 28-year-old attacker is definitely capable of making life difficult for the opposition defenders. Almuth Schult did remarkably well to keep a clean sheet in each of six games she played in the qualifiers, meaning that Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is likely to rely on her at the upcoming football festival for the ladies.
Speaking of Germany’s chances at the 2019 World Cup, one thing is for sure, die Nationalelf will make it to the last 16 without any difficulties.
China did well to win bronze medal at the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan, with the team securing their place at the 2019 Women’s World Cup finals. The Asian side were producing fine performances at the 2015 tournament in Canada, but they were eventually beaten by star-studded United States of America in the quarter-finals. The Steel Roses aim to (at least) repeat the success, but they will have a big fish to fry in the group stages of the tournament in France.
China did not take part in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, but they played a number of friendly games earlier in 2019. Jia Xiuquan’s charges outplayed Nigeria 3-0 in their first warm-up game of the year and, to make things even better for the fans, they defeated fellow Asian team Korea Republic at the Four Nations Tournament.
Nonetheless, the team’s performances were anything but impressive at the 2019 Algavre Cup. China suffered back-to-back losses to the likes of Norway and Denmark at the start of the tournament, but they managed to hold Netherlands to a draw in the regular time. However, the Oranje eventually emerged triumphant after penalty shoot-out.
The likes of Li Ying, Wang Shanshan and Wang Shuang are considered the team’s key players and the trio could help China advance to the World Cup knockout stages for the second consecutive time. It has to be noted that Wang Shuang made it to the Champions League final with PSG in the 2018/2019 season. Wang Shanshan, on the other hand, scored no less than 11 goals at the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup despite playing as a defender. Li Ying is a very talented attacker, meaning that the opposition back-lines should have her at bay.
Given the experience of Jia Xiuquan’s, the Steel Roses are likely to fight for a second place with Spain in Group B.
Over the years Spain have established themselves as one of the dominant forces in men’s football. Spanish women aim to follow their men, but you should know that they made their debut at the World Cup finals four years ago in Canada. La Roja kicked off their 2015 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica, but back-to-back defeats to Brazil and Korea Republic ruined their knockout stages hopes.
Jorge Vilda’s women have been making progress year by year ever since and they are certainly eager to make amends for the unsuccessful World Cup campaign. Spain impressed in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the team recording a win in each of their eight group games. La Roja outplayed the likes of Serbia, Israel, Finland and Austria on the road to France, with the team scoring 25 goals in the process, while conceding only 2. Jorge Vilda’s troops continued with fine displays in warm-up matches and a 2-1 triumph over Brazil in April surely gave them a confidence boost.
Jorge Vilda has a number of high-profile players to choose from, but football experts see Marta Torrejon, Amanda Sampedro and Virginia Torecilla as the team’s key players. Marta Torrejon has established herself as a first-team regular at Barcelona, whilst Amanda Sampedro helped Atletico Madrid win the Primera Division title last term. Virginia Torecilla plays an important role in Ligue 1 side Montpellier and seeing that she impressed in the qualifiers, coach Jorge Vilda is likely to rely on her at the upcoming showpiece tournament.
As previously mentioned, Spain take part at the Women’s World Cup finals for the second time ever, which is probably main reason why we do not believe they are capable of securing a top-two finish in Group B. Anyhow, given the number of very talented players in Jorge Vilda’s squad, la Roja should not be underestimated. Taking everything into account, we predict that they are going to sneak into the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides.
South Africa are ready for their World Cup debut. The Banyana Banyana have been handed a chance to prove their worth at the major tournament, but they are seen as big underdogs in Group B. Desiree Ellis’ troops, though, were producing fine performances at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations and, no doubt, they are eager to repeat the success.
South Africa outplayed the likes of Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in the Africa Cup of Nations group stages, while sharing the spoils with Zambia. Thanks to a 2-0 win over Mali the Banyana Banyana set up a meeting with Nigeria in the final of the tournament, but they were more than unfortunate not to win the trophy. The title game went into extra-time and seeing that there were no goals, the winner was decided after penalty shootout. Linda Motihalo’s miss eventually helped Nigeria lift the trophy.
However, despite losing to Nigeria in the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations final, South Africa qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The African side have been struggling to find their best form in 2019 and seeing that they experienced all sorts of problems at the back in warm-up games, it is no surprise bookies give them slim chances of advancing to the knockout stages.
Thembi Kgatlana and Janine Van Wyk will be the women to watch in the African side when they kick off their 2019 Women’s World Cup campaign against Spain. Thembi Kgatlana scored four goals at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations and she is surely eager to add more goals to her account. The 23-year-old rising star currently plays for Beijing BG Phoenix. Janine Van Wyk is an experienced defender, who has been playing for the South Africa national team since 2005. She has more than 160 caps for the Banyana Banyana and the 32-year-old centre-back is likely to play an important role in Desiree Ellis’ team at the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa have nothing to lose at the upcoming tournament in France, but one thing is for sure, Desiree Ellis’s troops will fight tooth and nail in each and every game in Group B on their debut at the World Cup finals.