Women’s World Cup semi-final: England to edge past champions Japan
Edmonton is the stage on which England will jostle with holders Japan in the second semi-final of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, with both teams vying for a final appearance opposite USA, while a third place play-off against Germany awaits whoever is a defeated giant from this duel.
Having delighted and enthralled audiences at home with their historic passage to the semis, as the first English footballing team to reach that stage of a tournament in a decade and a half, the Lionesses (3/1 to win in 90 mins with Coral) want to go all the way.
“We have huge belief this team will find a way to get themselves through to the final. There’s huge determination. England will be the last team to leave Canada,” coach Mark Sampson told media.
“We’re two wins away from being world champions and if you’d said that to us 18 months ago, I’m not sure anyone bar myself and some of the staff would have believed it,” added the Welshman.
The Lionesses certainly have reason to be bold, with accomplished 2-1 victories over Norway and hosts Canada in the knock-out rounds so far meaning they are 16/1 to sink the Nadeshiko Japan by the same scoreline. With such momentum behind them, England are cracking value in Coral’s match special at 10/1 to win over 90 mins with both sides to score (max stake £20).
Adaptable Manchester City star Lucy Bronze has proven somewhat of a surprise match-winner, notching two in her last two, with both strikes proving vital, so back the 23-year-old at 14/1 to net last again.
‘Wizard’ Karen Carney (8/1 to fire home first) currently sits as joint top England scorer on two with Bronze, and will be pulling the strings for the Lionesses’ offence.
As for current World Cup champions Japan, they are understandably 21/20 favourites to triumph in normal time, and will not let their crown slip so easily.
Undefeated in Canada so far, having conceded just twice, the East Asian nation are 6/1 to at least make the match go to penalties in another of Coral’s superb match specials (max stake also £20).
Japan are the perfect ensemble, with their effective team ethic illustrated by the fact they have had seven different scorers so far.
Versatile and tricky skipper Aya Miyama (2/1 in the anytime market) is one England will have to watch out for, as it Wolfsburg sharpshooter Yuki Ogimi (6/4), while iconic attacker Homare Sawa could be a brilliant option to come off the bench to tussle with the Lionesses.
Coral’s betting tip: England look confident but Japan will be no pushovers so plump for the wicked wincast of 10/1 for the Lionesses to triumph in 90 mins with both teams to score