England play Germany in the Women's World Cup on Friday afternoon (watch it on BBC TWO or our website if you are at work..) and it's fair to say it is a crunch game.
The worry is, the way the fixtures have fallen news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foo... that if England lose to them, they could well be on the plane home.
That is because - presuming Japan beat Argentina on Friday morning (the Argentina who were beaten 11-0 by Germany) - they and Germany could play out a bore draw on Monday which would mean however many goals England stick past the Argies, it wouldn't be enough.
So, a draw against Germany is a must if Hope Powell's side want to keep our destiny in our own hands.
It would be SUCH a shame, given the quality they showed in the brilliant comeback against Japan (albeit in patches), if once again they failed to make it to the knockout stages (as at Euro 2005).
Had England managed to beat Japan (and not conceded that literally last-gasp freekick) they would have essentially have been home and dry and into the hat for the final stages when anything can happen.
Kelly Smith and Powell tried to put a brave face on it, saying the side showed character to comeback from a goal down etc - which is true.
But the fact is, the nerves showed on Tuesday. Smith and Karen Carney looked a class apart. But several players looked overawed - none more so that Eniola Aluko, who had that open goal miss and showed a general lack of composure with the ball at her feet.
And the pressure will be even greater tomorrow as all the players will be well aware of the consequence of defeat.
England drew 0-0 with Germany in January this year and Carney says they do not fear the World Champions. www.thefa.com/WorldCup2007/E...
But that draw was (my German friend Antje tells me) against a German side missing eight of their best players - and came only a few months after perhaps a more realistic 5-1 drubbing.
The fact is on the evidence of their first game, England do definitely deserve to qualify. It would be a shame if once again, they fall agonisingly just short and we are left contemplating what might have been. (No change there then with England + Football + Major Championships)