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FT - CanWNT 1 - 2 Netherlands (Women’s World Cup)

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Canada go head to head with the European Champions and fall short, finishing second in Group A.

Canada v Cameroon: Group E - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Game Thread:

FT - Netherlands win the group. Canada places second and awaits the result of USA v Sweden to find out who they are matched against come Monday.

90+4’ - Into stoppage time.

90’ - Yellow card issued to the Netherlands - Rood

89’ - Another close call for Canada off a corner.

86’ - Netherlands Substitution - Van Der Donk for Janson

85’ - Canada putting some pressure on the Dutch here. Can they equalize?

83’ - So close - Leon inches away from the equalizer.

81’ - Canada - Yellow card for Quinn, who’s only seen the pitch for 2 minutes.

80’ - Buchanan does well to keep it 2-1.

79’ - Canada Substitution - Scott for Quinn

75’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS! Straight off the bench and into the net. Not much Canada can do on that one, gorgeous play from the Dutch. CAN 1 - 2 NED

68’ - Double Substitutions for both sides:

60’ - GOAL! CANADA! Christine Sinclair makes it #182!!! CAN 1 - 1 NED

58’ - Sinclair called offside - good thing, as she skied her shot over the bar.

55’ - GOAL! NETHERLANDS! Meidema a header off a set piece. Only the 2nd goal Canada have conceded this year. CAN 0 - 1 NED

46’ - And we’re back.

HT - It’s halftime, and time to eat the other half of my sandwich. Catch ya’ on the flip.

45+3’ - Into stoppage time on an interesting first half. Lots of chances on either side. Wide open. 3’ stoppage time is a bit light, should be longer than that based on the VAR debacle at the start.

38’ - Labbe comes WAY out of her box - Kadeisha Buchanan gets a yellow card on the (necessary) tackle. She needs to calm down or there is a suspension in her future.

33’ - Dutch are knocking. Canada get away with a strike that comes off the post. Meidema is all over our defense.

30’ - World class buildup for the Dutch. Canada covers well. Another close call.

27’ - Kadeisha Buchanan is almost single-handedly saving the game for Canada.

23’ - Yellow card issued to Netherlands CB Dekker.

22’ - A hair offside for Jordan Huitema.

20’ - Cagey match - The Dutch team is winning the possession game.

10’ - Sorry had to get Subway (Veggie & Cheese on whole wheat) - took longer than expected. I hear something about VAR Shenanigans?

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Lineups:

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Christine Sinclair isn’t one for bold proclamations. The Canadian captain, closing in on the all-time international goal record as she is, has always done her talking on the field.

But in the lead-up to the tournament, and again this week, Sinclair has made it clear how much she believes in this team. After a pre-tournament friendly against Mexico in Toronto she said that this is the Canadian women’s national team she has been waiting her entire career to play on in terms of its skill and ability.

She doubled down this week, saying that teams should fear Canada, and that they can beat anyone in the tournament. This is hardly bulletin board material trash talk, but for Sinclair it is a bit of a departure from her usual tone.

Today, Sinclair and Canada will get their first chance to truly prove the validity of those statements. After defeating New Zealand and Cameroon with relative ease, not to mention booking their ticket to the knockout round, Canada face the Dutch needing a win to finish at the top of the group.

The European Champions are also undefeated so far, although their road to doing so hasn’t exactly been perfect. They needed a very late goal to beat New Zealand in their tournament opener. Their second match was a far more convincing 3-1 win over Cameroon, but by scoreline only.

But whereas Canada has been able to hold their two opponents so far to almost no legitimate chances, the Dutch have all kinds of weapons that can hurt Canada. Chief among them is 22-year-old Vivianne Miedema, who has already become the top Dutch national team goalscorer in history, netting her 60th goal for her country against Cameroon.

She is far from the only threat, however, as Shanice van de Sanden plays for Lyon, and fellow 26-year-old Lieke Martens for Barcelona. Those two sides met in the Champions League final this year.

The key for Canada in this match will likely come down to how well they can deal with that attacking trio. They played a back five to great success against New Zealand, but that was with the correct assumption that they would have the ball for the majority of the match.

The Dutch will probably inspire a far more defensive setup from Kenneth Heiner-Moeller, probably with Allysha Chapman back in the lineup as one of the team’s best one-on-one defenders.

It’s a good test for Canada, one that they don’t necessarily need to pass. Doing so, however, can only help team belief as well as the path the team has for the rest of the tournament. This is finally Canada’s chance to prove that they deserve to be feared at this competition.

How to watch:

Match date/time: Thursday, June 20, 12:00 a.m. ET

TV channel: TSN, CTV

Live stream: TSN GO