The Group Play rotation has finished its first full rotation, which means the international spotlight for the Women's World Cup in Germany is rotating back to the host nation and the Group A competitors. In the first round, Germany and France won their initial games, and they'll look to extend those leads to both head to 2-0 in the competition and solidify their standings in the quarterfinals.
In the first game, Germany defeated 2-1 while France defeated Nigeria 1-0. The winners simply switch the teams they defeated this round, which could seriously place Canada and Nigeria in a deep hole they won't be able to escape from. Nigeria will have a definite uphill battle against the host team Germany, whose fans are swept up in patriotic fervor across the country. Certainly the crowd at the game in Frankfurt will be festive and the crowd might be too overwhelming for Nigeria to focus.
Canada must also find a way to get points on the leaderboard against France, but their track record in Women's World Cup competition doesn't bode well for their ability to move beyond the top two here in Group A. Canada has only moved past the Group Play once in four attempts, back in 2003. They have, however, defeated France three times in six meetings and had two draws as well, so there is a history of playing tough against France with decent success. This is the best chance for the teams to be mixed.
Prediction: Germany wins 1-0; Canada wins 2-1