US lands in tough group for Women’s World Cup

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(Photo credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

(AP) — The United States drew the toughest group for the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada, and will face Australia in its opening match in Winnipeg on June 8.

In addition to tenth-ranked Australia, the Group D included No. 5 Sweden, led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, and No. 35 Nigeria, winners of nine African women’s championships.

The top-ranked U.S. Women are making their seventh World Cup appearance. The United States won the inaugural tournament in 1991 and added their second title in 1999. The team was runner-up in 2011 Germany, falling to champion Japan on a penalty shoot-out after a draw in regulation.

The World Cup, which features and expanded field of 24 teams, will be played in six Canadian cities from June 6 through July 5. The field includes eight teams that are making their World Cup debuts.

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