Posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com
The final group to look at will be Group D, this is where the Samba Queens of Brazil reside, joining them are Scandinavian giants Norway as well as Australia and Equatorial Guinea.
The Brazilian Women’s National Team has been in this competition 5 times and has had a best finish as Runner up in 2007, with this being the case many are tipping them to be World Champions this time around. This team is almost like a mirror image of the men’s side (but on a much smaller scale) in terms of playing style, but they just don’t have the silverware to back it up. Coached by Jorge Luiz Barcellos, he has a squad that is lined with top talent but nobody at the moment shines brighter then Forward Marta (of Western New York Flash). However, she is not alone as her partner in crime Forward Cristiane (of Santos) joins in the attacks while Formiga (of FC Gold Pride) does the “dirty work” in midfield.
Norway are a top women’s team in not only Europe but the World as well, they always seem to be in and around the silverware and have won this competition before back in 1995. Their coach is Eli Landsem and although he’s only been the coach since 2009, he also knows what a winning tradition this team has created and he has added to that as well. Key players for Norway are Ane Stangeland (of Klepp IL), Lene Mykjaland (of Washington Freedom), Ingvild Stensland (of Lyon) and Isabell Lehn Herlovsen (of Lyon).
The Australian Women will be making their 5th appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and their best finish was the Quarterfinal back in 2007. This team is getting better and better with every game and under coach Tom Sermanni their stock is doing nothing but rising. The entire squad plays their club soccer in Australia, so they will hope the closeness that they have will be expressed on the pitch. Key players for the Australian Ladies are Forward Lisa De Vanna (of Brisbane Roar) and partner in attack Sarah Walsh (of Sydney FC).
As for Equatorial Guinea, these are the true unknowns of the tournament as this is not only their first time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup but their only notable success was winning the African Women’s Championship back in 2008. Coached by Jean-Paul Mpila, this squad is quite unique as a good majority of their players play club soccer in Brazil. The ones to watch are Goalkeeper Miriam Paixao Silva (of São Francisco) and Forward Jade Boho Sayo (of Rayo Vallecano).
This group is pretty straight forward in terms of who will qualify; I have Brazil topping the group and Norway close behind. This means the game to watch will be on July 3 in Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen-Arena.
Kamal’s Prediction: Brazil and Norway