The Canadian women’s national team finish off round-robin action at the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday afternoon when they take on North American rivals Mexico in a pivotal showdown for the top spot in Group B.
Canada (2-0) hasn’t really been tested yet at the tournament, winning their first match against St. Kitts and Nevis 11-0 before defeating Jamaica 9-0, however, the No. 27-ranked Mexican side (2-0) always pose a threat, despite history swaying heavily in the red-and-white’s favour.
Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s team, who are ranked No. 8 in the world, are 21-1-2 all-time against Mexico and are undefeated in their last 13 matches (11-0-2). If Canada wants to avoid a semifinal showdown with the always-dangerous United States, they’ll need to continue that streak with either a win or a draw on Tuesday evening.
Mexico, meanwhile, has also won both of their matches, getting past Jamaica 1-0 to open the tournament followed by a comfortable 6-0 win over St. Kitts.
And as some of the Canadian players note, the team in red, white, and green have been in-form during early stages the tournament.
“Just like us, Mexico hasn’t given up a goal either,” said forward Janine Beckie. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game for us. And the tough thing about this tournament, is that there is a short turnaround between games.
“But we have a really deep team, we had a lot of fresh legs on the pitch in the match against Jamaica, and we will have players that are fresh and ready for the match against Mexico.”
Unlike their previous two matches, where Canada was resting players, coach Heiner-Moller expects his full roster to be fit and available on Tuesday.
Just finished at #canWNT training. Heiner-Moller says Lawrence and all players fit and available for selection tomorrow vs. Mexico.— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) February 3, 2020
That’s a good sign for the Canadian side who have been pouring in goals to begin the tournament. In fact, there have been eight different goal scorers to find the back of the net, so don’t expect to for Heiner-Moller to be short of attacking options off the bench should the red-and-white find themselves in that position.
If Canada does manage to earn a result, they’ll take on No. 37 Costa Rica in the semifinal—with the winner earning a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Costa Rica are coming off a 6-0 defeat to the U.S, so it’s important that CanWNT lines up them as their next opponent instead of the Americans.
HOW TO WATCH
Credit to Canada Soccer and their TV partners who have provided more options to watch Tuesday’s match, with the game being available on SaskTel and TELUS (in addition to Rogers and OneSoccer). Kickoff is at 6:30 EST.
WTR’s Jeffrey P. Nesker will get a game thread up for this one—be sure to following along—while Benedict Rhodes will have you covered with a recap shortly following the match. This is a big one, folks.