Will England Score A Win To Advance At The Women’s World Cup?
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Will England Score A Win To Advance At The Women’s World Cup?

England wraps up their group round in the Women’s World Cup later today in a meeting with Colombia.  The Three Lionesses can ensure they advance to the knockout round with a win later today, but can still advance if the game is settled by draw.

The knockout round of the Women’s World Cup is determined in a slightly different format than the Men’s World Cup.  There are four third place teams that advance to the knockout round in the women’s tournament, which means a first, second, or third place finish for England in the group stage can help the team advance.

Two of the third place advancements have already been filled by the Netherlands and Switzerland respectively, leaving two more slots for other teams to claim.  Heading into tonight’s game, England sits in second place thanks to a goal differential that shifts the odds in favour of the Lionesses despite losing the opening match against France.

However, fans of the women’s side are definitely betting on a first place finish.  The winner of Group F will face the runner up of Group E in the knockout stage, which will be Costa Rica, Spain, or South Korea – all of which had disappointing starts to the World Cup this month.

If England is forced to take second or third place in the group, the Lionesses will be drawn against Japan, Norway, or the United States in the knockout round.  All three teams are former World Cup champions – the American side two times over.  England’s best odds of qualifying for the quarterfinals lie with a first place finish in the group.

To do that, the Lionesses must tackle Las Cafeteras and win.  Colombia upset the favoured French side with a 2-0 victory, and the team is feeling confident after scoring a huge win over early frontrunners.

Forward Fran Kirby and winger Karen Carney scored England’s two goals against Mexico.  Kirby is a safe bet to start tonight against Colombia, with coach Mark Sampson hoping for more goals out of his star forward.  Carney suffered a slight back problem in the match with Mexico, and her spot in tonight’s effort will likely be a game time decision.

Team captain Steph Houghton is betting on making her own connections against Colombia tonight.  Houghton is one of England’s top players and was named left back of the 2012 London Olympics for her aggressive style that helped her score 3 goals in that tournament.  If Houghton connects tonight, England will have a better chance of finishing first in the group.

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