JUNE 8 (Sporting Alert) — After Cameroon hammered Ecuador 6-0 to dominate their Group C opener, defending champions Japan will seek to get off the mark in their game with Switzerland.
Four games were on the schedule in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday (June 8), with two-time champions USA and defending champions Japan both in action.
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June 8 Match Schedule
**All times are Eastern**
Cameroon 6 v Ecuador 0 at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, 7 p.m.
(Fox Sports 2 USA, TSN2, British EuroSport 2)
Japan 1 v Switzerland 0 at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, 10 p.m.
(Fox Sports 1 USA, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)
Sweden 3 v Nigeria 3 at Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, 4 p.m.
(FOX Network, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, British EuroSport 1)
USA 3 v Australia 1 at Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.
(Fox Sports 1 USA, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, BBC Two)
Group D competition gets underway at the Winnipeg Stadium at 3:00 p.m. with Sweden and Nigeria hoping to take an early advantage in what is expected to be a challenging group that also includes the Americans.
Monday’s clash will be only the third meeting between Sweden and Nigeria, with the Africans still searching for their first win in this series. The Swedes won the first meeting between the two sides 3-0 at the 2003 World Cup in USA on their way to finishing runners-up to Germany in the final.
The other battle ended in a 1-1 draw, which came four years later in China PR.
Sweden, base on their record against their opponents, will start as the favourites, with SkyBet listing them with odds of 4/11 to take the win.
However, several pundits are backing Nigeria to shock their European challengers, despite coming in with odds of 6/1 to take the victory. Sweden finished third at the 2011 tournament in Germany
The second Group D matchup on the day sees one of the pre-tournament favourites USA taking on Australia, who come into this tournament with the belief that they can shake-up the heavyweights in the difficult group.
USA and Australia have met just once before, with the Stars and Stripes scoring four second half goals in a 4-1 victory in Helsingborg at the 1995 World Cup in Sweden.
But while the United States, which will feature star forward Abby Wambach in its starting team, have the upper hand on paper, Australia, a quarter-finalist at the last two editions, will certainly be no push-overs, with super-star playmaker Katrina Gorry promised to do special things in Canada.
SkyBet listed USA at 2/11 to take the three points, with Australia starting at 11/1 for the upset. The odds for a draw is listed as 11/2.
Japan Strongest In Group C
Meanwhile, defending champions Japan will start the defense of their title against Switzerland and they are the 1/2 favourites to start the campaign with a win.
The Japanese secured their first-ever World Cup title on an emotional night in Germany 2011 and head coach Norio Sasaki believes his team is even better than the championship winning squad, which could strike fear in the eyes of everyone.
Monday’s Group C clash between Japan and Switzerland will be the first meeting between the two nations, but it could be interesting.
The Swiss raced into their first Women’s World Cup undefeated from ten qualifying matches, while winning nine of those games.
The other Group C game on Monday will see two tournament debutants, Cameroon and Ecuador, clashing at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.