Sports / Soccer

China faces uphill task against US in women's World Cup quarters

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-23 16:54

OTTAWA - China will meet the United States, the 2-0 winner over Colombia in a last 16 encounter on Monday, for a Women's World Cup semifinal spot in a repeat of 1999 final.

China faces uphill task against US in women's World Cup quarters

China's players celebrate a goal during a round of 16 match between China and Cameroon at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada, on June 20, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Although the US was unbeaten against China in the World Cup and Olympics, the "Steel Roses" may have opportunities to reach the last four this time.

The two teams encountered for the first time in the 1995 World Cup when they put up a sensational 3-3 draw in the group stage.

In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the "Steel Roses" met the old rival twice in the campaign. After a boring 0-0 tie in group stage, China lost to the host 2-1 in the gold medal match.

In the 1999 World Cup, the two favorites met in the final and China lost again. After that, the "Steel Roses" started to decline.

Unlike China, the US is always a power in women's football world, which not only had snatched two World Cup titles, but also won in the Olympics for four times since 1996.

On paper, China may face uphill task against the awe-inspiring US team in the quarterfinal on Friday, but China, who has staged a fresh look in the last three matches in group stage, has what it takes to surprise the world.

Colombia surprised everybody with a brilliant first-half performance and played out a quite balanced 45-minute match, while the US found no clear chances to score and didn't show out their dominant power.

What's more, US star players Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday will miss the match against China for two yellow cards on aggregate.

According to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the Chinese players will receive "historic-high bonus" for the World Cup, and the bonus will be added if China can step further.

In China's recent soccer reform, importance is attached to women's soccer as well. As one of the reform's major goals, the runners-up of 1999 World Cup will be striving to return to the top of the world.

In the post-match interview, many Chinese players have shown their ambitions of beating their old rival.

Striker Wang Shanshan who had scored twice for China in the Cup said: "Our goal of the tournament is the top three."

Midfielder Wang Shuang said: "There must be many chances for us in the quarterfinal. The semifinal is not unreachable for us."

In FIFA's official website, a Canadian internet user named Geo Hardy commented: "I predict China will beat USA in the quarterfinals on Friday with Rapinoe and Holiday out of the lineup."

"I've seen China play live twice in this tournament. Here's why I think they'll win: Firstly, they have two extra days rest, having played their last 16 game on June 20; Second, they are outstanding defensively. I don't think the US will score a single goal," he added.

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