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FIFA Women's World Cup Enters Second Stage


United States forward Abby Wambach (20) is congratulated by midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and forward Alex Morgan (13) after scoring against Nigeria, June 16, 2015. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

United States forward Abby Wambach (20) is congratulated by midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and forward Alex Morgan (13) after scoring against Nigeria, June 16, 2015. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The investigation of international football’s leadership continues. So too is play at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. Sixteen teams remain in the competition. The Women’s World Cup began on June 6. There were teams from 24 countries at the very beginning. That is the largest number of teams ever represented in a Women’s World Cup.

FIFA is the governing group for professional football, or soccer, as it is called in the United States. Current and former FIFA officials are currently under investigation. This week, Swiss officials announced they are investigating possible money laundering incidents connected to the planning of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cups.

So, which teams are expected to reach the finals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup? People following the sport say predicting those teams will be difficult. But they say the top three teams of the competition are Germany, Japan and the United States. Both the United States and Germany have each won two Women’s World Cups. And one of those two countries has eliminated, or ousted, the other in three of the six World Cups.

In the first Women’s World Cup, held in 1991, the U.S. team defeated Germany 5-2 in a semifinal match. In the 1999 World Cup, the U.S. defeated Germany in a quarterfinal match. But Germany would return in 2003 to defeat the United States 3-0 in the semifinal match.

Some experts believe the winner this year may be the team from Japan. Japan defeated the United States in the finals of the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

Football matches for the round of 16 start Saturday, June 20. The finals will take place on Sunday, July 5 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Jonathan Evans wrote this story for VOA Learning English. The editor was George Grow.

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Words in this Story

money laundering n. the process of using banks or businesses to hide where money that is gained illegally really comes from

eliminated v. defeated

semifinal n. either one of two games to decide which people or teams will go on to the final part of a competition

Which team do you think will win the 2015 Women’s World Cup? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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