Canada’s women’s soccer team will find out Tuesday morning (in Canada, anyway) whether or not they will advance to the knockout stage of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
Canada comes into the game against Great Britain undefeated through two games, after drawing Japan 1-1 in their opener before following that up with a 2-1 win over Chile on Saturday.
Great Britain comes in having beaten Chile in their opening match 2-0, then beating Japan 1-0 on Saturday. Great Britain is already guaranteed to advance to the knockout stage, while Canada can do no worse than third place, which with their four points makes them very likely to advance as well. The top two third place teams will advance, and Canada’s four points put them in good position with against currently third placed teams Australia (3 points), Japan (1 point) and the People’s Republic of China (1 point).
But a positive result would guarantee advancing, and that will certainly be the goal for Bev Priestman’s squad.
“We absolutely want to win this match, get the points, and move on to the next round,” said Priestman in a news release. “Keeping the knockout stage in mind, we have to make sure our players are as rested and as fresh as possible, but we have an incredible depth within our group of players, and I believe this can give us a result against Great Britain.”
Both Canada and Great Britain have scored three goals thus far, with Ellen White of Manchester City leading the way for Great Britain by scoring all three goals, and her Manchester City teammate Janine Beckie leading for Canada with two goals via were brace on the weekend.
As Great Britain is somewhat of an all-star team of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the two teams have only met in Olympic competition, with the most recent contest seeing Canada emerge victorious by a 2-0 scoreline in the 2012 quarter-finals in London. Canada played friendlies against England and Wales earlier this year, winning those contests 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, so they have those wins to build off of heading into this game.
It’s unclear whether or not Stephanie Labbe will be available for Canada on Tuesday. The 34-year-old goalkeeper missed the game against Chile after being forced to exit the game against Japan with a rib injury. Kailen Sheridan was between the sticks for Canada’s win, with Erin McLeod on the bench.
Game time in Kashima, Japan is set for July 27tat 8 p.m. local time ( or 7 a.m. Eastern Time or 4 a.m. Pacific Time). The match will be broadcast live on CBC.ca.