Previewing Group B matches
The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup continues Monday with two matches in Group B, as Japan faces New Zealand and Mexico takes on England. Here are some interesting stats and storylines about Day 2.
• Having qualified for every Women's World Cup, Japan is still looking for its first win against a non-South American side at the tournament. To achieve this, Japan will need to keep up its record against New Zealand. Japan leads the all-time series 3-0-1, winning 2-1 in a 2009 friendly the last time the two teams met.
• New Zealand and Mexico are two of the four teams to have participated in a Women's World Cup and not win a match (South Korea and Argentina are the others). New Zealand lost all three matches it played in both 1991 and 2007, with a cumulative goal difference of minus-19 (one goal for, 20 against). The one goal scored is the lowest total by any team to play in more than one tournament. New Zealand had no trouble scoring in its qualifying matches, however, netting 50 goals and not conceding any.
• Mexico lost all three group-stage matches and was outscored 15-1 in its lone Women's World Cup appearance in 1999. The 15 goals are tied for the most allowed in a single tournament. Scoring might not be easy against England, as it was the only team to hold Germany scoreless at the 2007 Women's World Cup, drawing 0-0 during the group stage. That is the only match that Germany did not win (or did not score in) over the last two tournaments.
• Mexico and England have met once previously, in a 2005 Algarve Cup match that England won 5-0. Two current England players scored goals in that match: Fara Williams (2) and Rachel Yankey. Mexico lost to two European opponents in its 1999 Women's World Cup appearance: Italy (a 2-0 loss) and Germany (6-0). England has faced one North American side in each of its two previous appearances, losing to the United States 3-0 in 2007 and defeating Canada 3-2 in 1995.
• Mexico qualified for the Women's World Cup by beating the United States 2-1 in the semifinal of 2010 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, its first win ever versus the United States. Mexico has since had a poor run of play in international matches leading up to the Women's World Cup, losing to the United States (1-0), Sweden (2-0) and Australia (3-2) in June. England breezed through qualifying, winning nine of the 10 matches it played with a plus-31 goal difference (35 goals for, four goals against).