The first semifinal game of the FIFA Women's World Cup tournament in Canada will feature a showdown between the top two ranked football teams in the world -- Germany and the United States.
The top-seeded Germans and the second-seeded Americans will square off Tuesday evening (7pm ET) at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, with each team bidding for its third World Cup championship. Germany won in 2003 and 2007, while the U.S. did so in 1991 and 1999.
They enter Tuesday's match armed with two of the best goalies in the game, Germany's Nadine Angerer and the United States' Hope Solo.
Angerer, a former FIFA Player of the Year, allowed no goals during Germany's march to the 2007 World Cup championship. She has nine saves in this year's tournament, with Germany allowing three goals.
Solo has been nearly perfect. She has allowed only one goal in five games, which came in the first half of the group-stage opener against Australia. She has since posted four straight shutouts, including a 1-0 win over No. 16 China in the quarterfinals, and leads all goalkeepers at the World Cup with 11 saves.
`World Class' Goalie
"Hope's absolutely world class," U.S. midfielder Heather O'Reilly said. "We're proud of her for that accomplishment. I know she has a big one in mind, and that's to win the World Cup."
Solo is part of a stingy U.S. defense that has yielded 13 shots on goal in the tournament and no goals in 423 straight minutes. That unit will try to stop a German squad that has scored a World Cup-best 20 goals - though 10 came in one game - and is averaging 12 shots on goal per match.
U.S. striker Alex Morgan described Tuesday's game against Germany as "almost" like a World Cup final.
"It's the number one and the number two team," Morgan said. "Germany has had a great run in this tournament. We've done pretty well and have been continuing to get better and better. It's going to be a great game for the fans. We've been watching Germany this tournament a lot, knowing that we could well meet them in the semi-final, and the day has come, tomorrow, and we'll be ready."
Germany, which is seeking to duplicate the feats of its men's team that won the World Cup in Brazil last year, is coming off a thrilling 5-4 penalty kick shootout victory against third-ranked France in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. and Germany have met on three previous occasions in World Cup play (the 1991 semifinal, 1999 quarterfinal and 2003 semifinal), with the winner of each game going on to win the tournament that year.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis described Germany as a "tremendous" team.
"It's going to be a physical battle on the ground and in the air," Ellis said. "It's been a good test for our players to come through against Nigeria and Sweden and teams like this to be prepared for tomorrow. It's a team that's powerful, they're competitive and combative, a team with a lot of personalities. They're a good team in every line."
In the other semifinal game on Wednesday, defending-champion and fourth-seeded Japan will take on sixth-seeded England in Edmonton.
The winners of the two semifinal games will clash in Vancouver on Sunday for the 2015 women's World Cup championship.