Group B remains wide open

June, 30, 2011
06/30/11
6:08
PM ET

Group B, the only group in which all four teams are ranked in the top 25, takes to the pitch Friday to play its second round of group-stage matches at the Women's World Cup. Let's take a look at where the most wide-open group at this year's tournament stands going into its second set of games.

• Japan, which has never won two matches in a single WWC, can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals with a win over Mexico. These two teams have met in a Women's World Cup qualifying playoff in each of the two previous tournaments, with Japan winning on aggregate each time.

•  After earning its first-ever point at the Women's World Cup with a draw against England, Mexico can go to the top of Group B with a win over Japan and a loss or draw for England.

•  After being suspended for the first match due to a red card in CONCACAF qualifying, forward Veronica Perez is back for Mexico. The Hayward, Calif., native has four goals in 24 appearances.

•  England needs a win to strengthen its position entering its final group game against seeded Japan. After managing just a point against Mexico, the Three Lionesses look to advance out of the group stage for the third time at the Women's World Cup, having done so in both of its previous trips to the tournament.

•  New Zealand is still in search of its first-ever WWC point and is looking avoid elimination after two matches. The Kiwis have scored 71 goals and allowed only one goal in their last two qualifying tournaments (50-0 this time around), but have scored only two goals in seven WWC matches (one in 2011).

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