After Sunday’s thrilling 1-0 victory over Switzerland at BC Place, Canada is on to the quarter-final.
This is the first time that Canada has made it to a World Cup quarter-final since 2003 when they finished the tournament in 4th place.
England will present Canada’s stiffest competition in the tournament thus far and there promises to be an electric atmosphere in front of a packed house at BC Place.
FIFA Ranking: Canada (#8) vs England (#6)
Date: Saturday, June 27
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Vancouver (BC Place)
With a win over China and ties against New Zealand and the Netherlands in the group stage, Canada finished first in Group A. That set-up a favourable Round of 16 matchup against the 19th ranked Swiss, who put-up a good fight, but were ultimately defeated by Canada 1-0 in front of 53,000+ fans.
Josee Belanger scored the lone marker for Canada against Switzerland and Erin McLeod made a point-blank, game-saving save off Vanessa Bernauer at the edge of the 6-yard box to preserve the victory.
The win marked the first time that Canada has beaten a European opponent in a World Cup match. And if they want to move on to the semi-finals, they will need to do it once more.
England lost their opening match to France before beating Mexico and Colombia en route to a second place finish in Group F. They beat 11th ranked Norway 2-1 in a tough Round of 16 matchup. The win was a come from behind thriller, with their goals scored in the 61st and 76th minute to secure the victory.
This will represent a rematch of sorts from the 2012 London Olympics, when Canada defeated Great Britain (a team primarily composed of English players) 2-0 in the quarter-final.
— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_TV) June 23, 2015
Revenge will surely be on the minds of England, who will look to be the one to defeat the host nation this time around.
England has scored 6 goals and given up 4 against so far in this tournament. Canada has been more stingy, scoring just 3 times and giving up only 1 goal against. Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod already has 3 clean sheets, while England is looking for their first.
Will England’s offence prevail against Kadeisha Buchanan and the Canadian defence? Or can Canada find a way to score more than once in a game for the first time in the tournament?
The biggest part of Canada’s offence is Burnaby’s Christine Sinclair, who has had a disappointing tournament statistically so far. Sinclair hasn’t scored since her penalty kick in the opening game of the tournament.
Sinclair was a catalyst on Canada’s only goal in the Round of 16, assisting on Josee Belanger’s marker. But more is expected from Canada’s best player, who will need the help of her teammates to find the back of the net in the quarter-final.