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Live stream info, TV listings: USA vs China - 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup

June 25, 2015 By Michelle Bonsu
It will be a re-match of the 1999 Women's World Cup final as the USWNT and China meet in a quarter-final clash at Ottawa's Lansdowne Stadium on Friday, June 26th. Here are some online listings & live TV listings for USA vs. China.

On July 10, 1999, over 90,000 fans gathered at California's famed Rose Bowl stadium to watch two teams meet in a historic final still discussed 16 years later. For starters, this was the first time such a large crowd had gathered to watch a women's sporting event, and to date, the official attendance - recorded as 90,185 - still remains as the most live-viewed Women's World Cup final in history. And to top it off, one of the teams was the USWNT, facing off against China, the first ever Asian side to make it to a final.

90 minutes provided no goals, so the match headed to a very tense extra-time period, and then finally, spot-kicks. This is something that many teams dread as oftentimes it's not the best team that wins, but the one who has the most luck and nerve of steel to see it through. And just like the first 90 and extra time, this was a close one indeed as the Stars and Stripes finally edged out their determined Asian opponents 5-4, with Brandi Chastain scoring the winning penalty and her jubilant celebration being displayed on newspapers both across the USA and around the world.

Brandi Chastain's celebration 16 years ago marked the second - and last time the USA won a World Cup title

The USA vs. China match was an interesting one as it pitted two superstars of the women's game at that time. Many, of course, will be familiar with Mia Hamm, whilst for girls growing up in China, they looked up to Sun Wen, who in addition to winning a runners-up medal at the 1999 World Cup, was also an Olympic silver medalist during the 1996 games in Atlanta.

16 years later: Ups and downs for China

16 years later, the two sides will now meet again. A lot has changed since then. For the USA, they are now tied with Germany on two World Cup titles and were so close to making it three, only to lose to Japan in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw. Meanwhile, time has not been so kind to China, who suffered a surprising fall from grace since their impressive run in 1999. The Steel Roses failed to replicate this same success in subsequent World Cups, crashing out at the quarter-final stages in 2003 and 2007 and failing to even make it to the 2011 edition in Germany.

They even suffered some hiccups in the Asian Cup and the Olympics. In the former tournament, after winning seven straight titles, they then were unable to defend their crown in 2001 and 2003 before finally standing on the winners' podium in 2006. Since then, though, they have not been able to win another Asian Cup. And in the Olympics, since their 1996 silver medal, they failed to make it to London in 2012. Before then, China only had made it to two group stages and one quarter-finals - in the 2008 version that they hosted.

China and the USA: Their paths to this interesting re-match 16 years later

So far in Canada, both have had their struggles. For Jill Ellis's side, despite navigating through their group stage and first knockout match against Colombia sans a single loss, several key players have not been immune from their share of criticism, and none more so than veteran striker Abby Wambach. The 35-year-old missed a penalty against the Colombians and only has one goal to her name as she has struggled to have much of an impact. To make things worse, her teammates still continue to rely on her power in the box and she has not been able to impose herself much on opponents - something that will be quite disconcerting as they take on a staunchly defensive Chinese side.

China, who are ranked 16th, bounced back after losing their opening game against Canada. However, it took a late penalty to break down Hao Wei's squad, and they eked out a slim win over debutants Holland before holding New Zealand to a 2-2 draw to squeak by into second ahead of the Netherlands. That match also happened to be the only to date in which they have scored more than just one goal and they kicked off their round of 16 clash by powering past Cameroon with an early first half effort from Wang Shanshan.

As the USA continue to struggle along their veteran striker, China will be expected to happily sit back and absorb as much pressure in an effort to frustrate their opponents. The USWNT's task will be made harder due to the suspension of Megan Rapinoe, who scored a brace against Australia and it will be interesting to see how the team copes without her creative spark.

Although this will be the first time since 1999 that the two teams have met at a World Cup, they of course are not strangers to each other. Whilst China have not been the most entertaining side to watch this summer, it is not always "pretty football" that wins matches. Hao Wei's ladies have been solid and have gotten through to this stage, where they will be eager to get some revenge on the USA from that historic final from 16 years ago.

Nonetheless, the Steel Roses' record against the Stars and Stripes is not good. The USWNT by far enjoy the historical advantage. Since 1986, the two teams have met 53 times, with just eight wins for China and a whopping 32 for the USA. This includes an impressive run of 24 straight unbeaten games for the Americans, with 20 wins dating back to 2003.

Many of the players on both teams definitely watched that final in July 1999 as young girls on their television sets. Some may even have had the opportunity - as this author did - to see it in person. All 22 of them who will take to the pitch this Friday will be keen on making their mark. For China, it will represent an opportunity to finally beat an opponent that has frustrated them time and time again, and more significant, stands in the way of them getting one step closer to what has eluded them all these years. Meanwhile, for the USA, they will be keen on silencing those critics and finally earning that third trophy that was so painfully close during the final four years ago in Germany.

Who will win? Will fans see a repeat of the 1999 final, complete with extra time and penalties? Or will it be settled inside the regular 90 minutes?

 

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