In the premier matchup of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament group stage the U.S. takes on France in Group G play on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Both teams won their opening matches at the Olympics with the U.S. defeating New Zealand 2-0 and France dismantling Colombia 4-0 to set up a showdown for the top spot in Group G.
The U.S., the top ranked team in the world, and France, ranked third, are considered two of the gold medal favorites at the Olympics.
The two sides last faced each other in March 2016 in the SheBelieves Cup. The U.S. came away with a 1-0 victory as Alex Morgan scored a goal in stoppage time.
The U.S. and France also have recent Olympic history together as both were in Group G of the 2012 London Olympic tournament.
That year, the teams faced off in the first group stage match in what proved to be a pivotal game for the U.S. France took the early lead through goals by Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie within the first 15 minutes.
Then in the 17th minute, Carli Lloyd came on for the U.S. as a substitute for an injured Shannon Boxx.
That change was the turning point for the U.S. in the match and for the rest of the tournament. The team came back to beat France 4-2 in the match and went on to win Olympic gold. Carli Lloyd played in every Olympic match following the France game and scored both the team’s goals in the Gold Medal Match.
Four years later, Carli Lloyd is the captain and face of the U.S. women’s soccer team as it looks to win its fourth straight gold medal.
Expect the intensity of a knockout stage match as both the U.S. and France are familiar with one another.
French midfielder Amandine Henry plays club soccer in the U.S. with the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League alongside U.S. national team players Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, Lindsey Horan and Allie Long.
Additionally, Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath have played in the French professional league with Paris Saint-Germain where they were teammates with many French international players.
Other top matches:
Germany looks to continue its strong play after defeating Zimbabwe 6-1 in its opening match while Australia looks to get on track after a 2-0 loss to Canada. Germany is ranked second in the world while Australia is ranked fifth.
Both Brazil and Sweden won their opening matches. Sweden struggled against South Africa, but was able to come away with three points while Brazil handled China in its 3-0 victory. This match could decide the winner of Group E.
Women's soccer roundup: