Reigning World Cup champions Japan will be kicking off against Holland in the round-of-16 stage at the 2015 Women’s World Cup at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, June 23. The winner of this contest will advance to the quarterfinals where they’ll take on the winner of the Brazil vs Australia match. A loss in this stage means elimination from the tournament, meaning any tied games will go to extra time and then a penalty shootout if it’s still level after the extra 30 minutes.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two countries at a World Cup tournament.
Women’s World Cup Betting Preview: Japan vs Holland
- bet365 lists Japan as the favorites to win this encounter at 3/4 with Holland 15/4 and a 90-minute draw at 5/2
Japan won all three of their Group C outings to win the group with their perfect record. They edged Switzerland 1-0 in their opener and followed it up with a 2-1 victory over Cameroon and a 1-0 shutout of Ecuador. However, Japan has looked dreadful at times in the tournament, especially in their match against Switzerland. Holland advanced from group A after winning, losing, and drawing a game each. They racked up four points and went through as a top-four third-place team.
The bad news for Japan is the fact they’ve played some mediocre football up to now. But on the bright side, they’re capable of playing so much better and have won every game while playing below par. Overall, they’ve won six straight World Cup contests dating back to 2011. Japan will need to improve their finishing if they hope to retain their title as world champs. They’ve won all three games by a single goal and found the back of the net just once against Ecuador on 20 shots at goal. Considering Ecuador had allowed 16 goals against in their first two games, Japan should consider themselves underachievers with a 1-0 win.
Japan captain Aya Miyama has a goal and assist to lead the way, but she’ll need some help from her teammates. Defensively, the Japanese have played well by allowing just 36 shots against with only eight of them being on target. Holland advanced when substitute Kirsten van De Ven slammed home the tying goal against Canada with three minutes to play in their final group game. The Dutch have a solid goalkeeping tandem in Sari Veenendaal and Loes Gurts as they made 17 saves between them in the three group games while allowing just a pair of goals.
Japan enters this game as the firm favorites, but if they don’t pick up the pace against Holland and play more inspired football there’s a good chance they’ll be knocked out before reaching the quarterfinals.