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Brazil, Norway to Clash in Women's World Cup - 2003-09-24


Group round-robin play continues Wednesday in the Women's soccer World Cup in the United States. Doubleheaders will be played in Washington and Columbus, Ohio.

Brazil and Norway both posted shutout wins in their opening Group B games on Saturday and they clash in the first game at RFK Stadium in Washington. South Korea and France, the teams that suffered those shutouts, meet in the second game.

In Columbus, Ohio, Group C matches feature Germany against Japan and Canada playing Argentina. The Germans beat Canada in their opener, 4-1, while Japan dominated Argentina, 6-0.

Canada and Germany are the two teams favored to reach the quarterfinals from this group, and the Canadians were a bit stunned by their lopsided loss, especially since they scored the first goal of their game in the fourth minute.

This is the Canadians' third Women's World Cup appearance, but they have yet to gain a victory.

Canadian captain Charmaine Hooper says they have to get over the loss to Germany and concentrate on Argentina. "The most important thing for us is to regroup, get back to our game plan and just each person do their job well. And if each person does their job well, then there's no reason why we should not all play well and get a good win on Wednesday," she says. "And if we were to get that win, then of course that would be our first win in World Cup play, so that would be great too."

Germany has had to work on a game plan to handle the impressive Japanese team. German star Maren Meinert says facing Japan will be much different than Canada. "They have small, quick players. I think they play a similar style like we do," she says. "It's always tough to beat a team from Asia. We have to be ready for that."

The Germans know if they can beat Japan, and Canada then defeats Argentina, as expected, the Germans would clinch a berth in the World Cup quarterfinals with one group match still remaining.

That will be Saturday when Germany plays Argentina (in Washington) and Japan takes on Canada (in Foxboro,Massachusetts).

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