Teams from Japan and England will face off in Edmonton, Canada on Wednesday in the second part of the Women's World Cup semifinals. The winner will go on to face the United States on the soccer field for the championship. The semi final is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the Fox Sports 1, or online through live stream via the link below.
According to a report from BBC Sport, England is considered the underdogs against Japan, the reigning World Cup champions. However, they have never lost to Japan in their previous three matchups.
"This tournament has transpired in a way that gives us huge belief that whatever happens against Japan, this team will find a way to get themselves through to the final," England manager Mark Sampson said. "This England team will be the last team to leave Canada."
BBC Sport noted that Japan will be a tough opponent, given that the current World Cup holders have won all their matches in Canada so far. The team has only conceded just twice in five games.
"We know the task ahead is huge, but we really feel that something is happening that gives us that sense of belief, that higher purpose, that we will find a way to be the last team to go home," Sampson said.
According to BBC Sport, England is in uncharted territory in the women's World Cup. That's because they had never passed the quarterfinal stage until now, having reached the last eight in 1995, 2007 and 2011.
"We are two wins away from being world champions and if you had said that to us 18 months ago, I'm not sure anyone in our group bar myself and some of the staff would have believed that would be true," Sampson said. "But as time has gone on the players have grown in belief and now the team feels as if something is happening; something is going on."
BBC Sport reported that should England win the World Cup, all the players will earn £32,000 each (about $50,000). Sampson has used 22 of his 23-player squad, including captain Steph Houghton, throughout the tournament.
As for Japan, Laura Vecsey of Fox Soccer reported that the team continued "to be the most technically brilliant side in women's soccer," focusing on passing and ball control. In addition, 17 of their players were on the 2011 World Cup winning team.
"I think we are better, as the empirical value of each of the players is higher and we also now have spent a lot of time together with the same group of players," Japan captain Miyama said. "It means we know each other's game even more. I think this is a great advantage, especially when we are in the knockout stage, where we will have close games and a strong mentality is needed."
Miyama added that "our players can maintain the strong motivation, which is something we've gained by experience."
According to Vecsey, 36-year-old midfielder Homare Sawa would be playing in her sixth and final World Cup. She was the star of the 2011 Japan team.
"In 2011, Japan's victory was uplifting for a country suffering from the effects of a devastating tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown," Vecsey wrote.
Vecsey reported that England will rely on emotional momentum to get them to the championship round. Their midfield will be led by 30-year-old Fara Williams, who had her own inspirational story.
"Her story is one of true determination," Vecsey wrote. "As a teenager, Williams was homeless for seven years -- a fact she hid from her national team coaches and teammates as she moved from youth hostels around London."
Based on her analysis, Vecsey thought that England would have a hard time getting past Japan in this matchup.
"Japan's skill and teamwork will be very difficult for England to break though," Vecsey wrote. "Against Canada, the Three Lionesses capitalized early on two horrendous defensive breakdowns by Lauren Sesselmann. Japan will not make that kind of mistake, making this match a showdown between England's stated desire to attack and Japan's endlessly impressive passing and ball control."
The game will air at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1. Online viewers in the United States will be able to live stream the game on Fox Soccer 2 Go.