Women’s World Cup final: USA take on holders Japan
It is a case of deja vu in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final as, just as four-years ago in Germany, the United States and Japan are the only two left standing. Who will lift the coveted crown in Vancouver?
Nadeshiko Japan (7/2 with Coral to win in 90 mins) brought pride and optimism back to their disaster decimated nation in 2011, after surprisingly taking that tournament by storm to eventually beat the USA on penalties and claim their first-ever World Cup.
The East Asian nation (7/4 to lift the trophy) have added incentive to defeat the Stars and Stripes, as a second title would take them level with their opponents and Germany, the two most successful women’s football teams, on World Cup wins.
Luck certainly seems to be on the side of the as-yet undefeated Japanese, who benefited from a freak England own goal in the last minute on injury-time to secure a spot in the final, and coach Norio Sasaki will be hoping his country have the rub of the green once again.
With the Americans the more powerful side, Japan will be aiming to dazzle with technique, as defender Sayori Ariyoshi told press: “The final against the US, it’s going to be a tough game, but we’d like to have good pass work. I would want to win, so we’d like to stick to our plan of passing.”
Captain Aya Miyama (10/3 in the anytime market) of Okayama Yunogo Belle and Wolfsburg striker Yuki Ogimi are their nation’s biggest threats and likely match-winners, with the latter available at 11/1 in Coral’s superb special to score with Japan to win in 90 mins (max stake £20). Alternatively, punters can back a repeat of 2011, with the current holders 10/1 to triumph on penalties once again.
Team USA have their eye on what would be a record third triumph, however, and are an excellent 5/1 for victory in normal time with both teams to score, in another exciting special (also with a max stake of £20).
The Stars and Stripes have had the measure of their Asian opponents in two of three previous World Cup clashes, so are understandably favourites (odds-on at 4/9 to lift the trophy), especially after easily downing Germany 2-0 in the semi-finals.
USA top scorer Carly Lloyd is 5/1 to draw first blood, while forward Alex Morgan is 5/4 to be on target anytime and skipper Abby Wambach, who notched in the Germany final, is 7/4 in the same market.
Coral betting tip: lady luck appears to be shining on undefeated Japan, who are a superb 7/4 to lift the trophy and retain their crown.