The big game
**USA - Sweden, 12 June 2015, Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg, 19:00 local time*
*USA were drawn with Sweden for the fourth consecutive Women's World Cup on Saturday. Not only do the sides know each other well on the pitch, but former USA coach Pia Sundhage, now in charge of The Blueyellow, *will know her American opponents extremely well. *She led the Americans to two Olympic gold medals and the Germany 2011 final where they fell to Japan in penalties.
"The match will obviously be quite special for me; I’ve got mixed emotions about it,” Sundhage admitted. “It’s good to play against the best teams in the group stage, though. We’re looking at it positively.”
"Pia’s a dear friend," USA head coach Jill Ellis said at the conclusion of the draw. "We joked about it this morning, about being drawn in the same group. They’re obviously a very good team, and historically a good team, and they’ll be very tough. I think it will be a really good match up for us."
*What else to expect
*Group D also has a familiar feel compared to other groups as it is one of only two groups in the tournament without any newcomers involved. Australia, ranked tenth in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking, are appearing in their sixth Women's World Cup, making them the least experienced team. Nigeria, Sweden and USA have taken part in every tournament held. The Matildas were knocked out by the Swedes at Germany 2011 in the quarter-finals, so coach Alen Stajcic and Co will be looking for revenge in their final group game at Canada 2015.
A significant tournament milestone could be reached in Group D with USA forward Abby Wambach just one goal away from equalling the goalscoring record, held by Germany's Birgit Prinz and Marta (14). Wambach has scored against the Swedes in three Women's World Cups, and against Nigeria in two, so the odds look to be on the former FIFA Women's World Player of the Year's side.