Montreal — The Women's World Cup semifinal between top-ranked Germany and the second-ranked United States will feature two of the best goalkeepers in the game: Nadine Angerer and Hope Solo.
The two women will be the last line of defense tonight for their teams, with is each seeking a spot in the final match.
Historically, when the Germans have met the Americans in the World Cup, the winner has gone on to win the title.
Both teams have won it all twice: The United States in 1991 and 1999, and the Germans in 2003 and 2007.
Solo, despite being inundated at the start of the tournament with new revelations about her domestic violence arrest last June, has been nearly perfect. She has only allowed one goal — in the first half of the group-stage opener against Australia.
Since then she's posted four straight shutouts. The stout U.S. defense hasn't conceded a goal in 423 minutes. Solo leads all goalkeepers at the Women's World Cup with 11 saves.
"She's the best goalkeeper in the world," American defender Ali Krieger said, an opinion shared by coach Jill Ellis.
In the 1-0 quarterfinal victory over China, Solo surpassed Briana Scurry for most wins by a U.S. goalkeeper with 134.
"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."
Angerer, the former FIFA player of the year who was the first goalkeeper to win the award, started for Germany in the 2007 World Cup and did not allow a goal on the way to the title, setting a World Cup record for most minutes played (540) without allowing a goal.
Angerer has nine saves in Canada. Germany has conceded three goals.
"I think a lot of people have respect for her," Krieger said. "She's consistent, she's confident, she does her job really well and she's the leader of that team. They really look to her for making those MVP plays, and consistently does that at the right times."
Angerer, 36, has said she plans to retire following the World Cup.
Solo hasn't spoken to reporters at the World Cup since brief comments after the opener against Australia.
Just before the match, ESPN reported new details about the assault case she faced, stemming from an altercation with her half-sister and her nephew in Washington state last June. A
judge dismissed the case earlier this year.
"Each player can make their own decision in regards in speaking to the media," a U.S. Soccer spokesman said of Solo, the lone American player who refuses to stop on her way from the locker room to the team bus after games.
Solo occasionally has posted to Twitter and Instagram, including a photo of her and defender Lori Chalupny wearing "Beast Mode" T-shirts sent by Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
"She's done a fantastic job with this team, with this program," Ellis said after last week's quarterfinal victory over China, one in which Solo earned her ninth World Cup shutout.
The United States defeated Germany, 5-1, in the semifinals of the first women's tournament in 1991 then went on to beat Norway in the final.
The Americans beat Germany, 3-2, in the 1999 quarterfinals, going on to beat Japan on penalty kicks in the final on home soil at the Rose Bowl.
The Germans beat the United States 3-0 in Portland, Ore., in the semifinals, then beat Sweden, 2-1, in Carson, Calif. for the team's first title in 2003.
Overall, the United States is 18-4-7 against the Germans.
How they got here
The United States finished atop Group D, the so-called Group of Death, with a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Australia, a scoreless draw with No. 5 Sweden and a 1-0 victory over Nigeria.
The Americans defeated Colombia, 2-0, to open the knockout round, and then defeated China, 1-0, on a second-half goal from Carli Lloyd in the quarterfinals.
Germany finished atop Group B, with a 10-0 victory over Ivory Coast, a 1-1 draw with Norway and a 4-0 win over Thailand.
The Germans defeated Sweden, 4-1, to open the knockout round, before downing France on penalty kicks.
The winner faces the winner of the other semifinal between defending champion Japan, ranked No. 5 in the world, and sixth-ranked England.
Germany vs. U.S., 7 p.m. (Fox)
Japan vs. England, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
4 p.m. Saturday (Fox)
7 p.m. Sunday (Fox)