When China take on the US in the FIFA Women's quarter-final clash at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, the US are going to be under pressure to win, while China have already surpassed expectations by reaching the last eight of the competition.
China finished second in their group, which included Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand. They defeated Cameroon in a close round of 16 encounter to meet the second ranked team in the world, the US.
The US, on the other hand, won two matches in the group stages and defeated Colombia in the round of 16. Despite having reached the quarterfinal stage, they were not in great form as they have just scored six goals in the competition so far.
Scoring six goals is not a small task, but when the US women's team stride on the football pitch, one expects greater things from them as they are one of the best teams in the competition and have also won the title twice since the advent of the competition.
Their biggest margin of victory has been their 3-1 win over Australia. To make matters worse for the US, Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday are both going to miss this game due to suspension after receiving their second yellow cards of the competition.
In their absence, Carli Lloyd needs to be on top of her game against China. But, she believes the US are yet to play their best football.
"Our best is yet to come,'' Fox Sports quoted Lloyd as saying. "We've got so many talented players on this team and I don't think we've maxed it against anybody yet. In order to win this thing, in order to show what we've got, show the world what we've got, we've got to take some risks at some point."
"I know for me, I love to attack ... I need to get the ball. I need to run at players. I need to find a way to impact the game no matter how it's going, whether it's direct or not, that's my focus," added Lloyd.
The attacking players of the US need to showcase their skills and come up with one of their big game and if US turns triumphant, they are going to face the winner of the Germany vs France clash. With China said to possess a good defence, US need to find their goal-scoring form.
Enow Ngachu, the coach of Cameroon, who lost to China in the round of 16 lauded China's defence.
"I think they have one of the best defences in this tournament,'' Ngachu said. "When they lose the ball, nearly all the Chinese players regroup themselves as fast as possible. You hardly find less than six players defending. If they keep on like that, they can create surprises.''
And the US will not be eager to be a part of that "surprise' when the final whistle blows at Lansdowne Stadium on Friday.
Where to Watch Live
FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final clash between the US and China is scheduled for 7:30pm local time (5am IST, 12:30 am BST, 7:30pm EST). There is no live coverage in India
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on Fox Network with live streaming on Fox Soccer2 Go.
Those in the UK can catch the action live on British Eurosport1 and the game will be available in China on CNTV Sports.