By Aldwyn McGill
Featuring FIFA Women’s World Cup, Gold Cup and Copa America finals
This coming Sunday July 7th 2019 marks the end of some of the biggest football/soccer tournaments in the world. At the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in France, it will be defending champions USA facing Netherlands after the United States defeated England 2-1 in their semi-final match last Tuesday.
Netherlands reached the final by defeating Sweden 1-0 in the second semi-final played at the same Lyon Stadium on last Wednesday. The Dutch has enjoyed tremendous support in France and the 12th man played a huge part in the team advancing in extra time.
USA will have their share of support in Lyon although after 4 weeks they have grown accustomed to the being the target after getting a heavy dose of European opponents. It didn’t matter as the USA advanced after adding Sweden, Spain, France and England to their string of victories.
On Sunday it remains to be seen if the USA could continue their streak of scoring in under 12 minutes or if the game will take on characteristics of its own. Don’t believe any hype that suggests that if USA does not score early they are in trouble.
However, what you can believe is that Netherlands will have to play the entire 90 minutes and then some if they are to lift the trophy because the USA will not relent until the final whistle; and in this World Cup the VAR officials may also have something to say.
The concern for Netherlands supporters is that their team will be in unchartered waters playing in the final of the Women’s World Cup in just their second appearance in the tournament. Netherlands played at the women’s world cup in Canada in 2015 and was eliminated at the Round of 16.
The third place match between England and Sweden will be played this Saturday 6th. The game kicks off at 11am Eastern Standard Time (EST) and it will be the appetizer for the final the next day.
USA rewrote women’s individual and team scoring records in the opening match and Coach Jill Ellis flexed her muscles early and often with bench strength. After thrashing Thailand 13-0 she inserted seven (7) new players into her starting line-up to defeat debutant Chile 3-0 in their second match. They then completed a string of victories with relative ease.
It stands to reason that should Netherland win on Sunday they would have played the best game not just in the tournament but of their lives.
Sunday is also the final of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup tournament at Soldier Field in Chicago where Mexico will take on the winner of the second semi-final between the defending champion USA and Jamaica.
The result of the second semi-final played last Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee was not available since the match was schedule to start after press time. Jamaica reached the last two Gold Cup finals by defeating USA and Mexico respectively at the semi-final stage in 2015 and 2017.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup championship match is scheduled for this Sunday at the legendary Soldier Field in Chicago. Game time is at 8 p.m. CT, 9 p.m. ET.
The final of the 46th edition of the Copa America is also part of a Sunday soccer treat as host Brazil sits in wait of the winner of the second semi-final between defending champion Chile and Peru. Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 last Tuesday with the second semi-final scheduled after press time on Wednesday.
The 2019 Copa América is the international men’s association football championship organized by South America’s football ruling body CONMEBOL.