Having received back-to-back bronze medals, the Canadian girls’s soccer group has efficiently modified the color of the medal they are going to obtain on the Tokyo Olympics. Now all that is left is to find out if it will be gold or silver.
After an epic win over the US, Canada will go for gold on Friday when it meets Sweden within the event remaining at Tokyo’s Nationwide Stadium.
Sweden would be the slight favorite because the No. 5 group within the present FIFA world rankings, three forward of Canada. However the Canadian group, coached by Bev Priestman, has gone from power to power all through the event, capped off by its historic win within the semifinals that ended a 20-year winless streak towards the Individuals.
By reaching Friday’s remaining, Canada turned simply the third nation to win medals at three successive girls’s group tournaments on the Olympics (2012 to 2021), following within the footsteps of the U.S. (1996 to 2012) and Germany (2000 to 2008). Can they cap off their magical run in Tokyo by successful all of it?
This is what you must find out about Friday’s gold-medal recreation.
How did Canada get to the ultimate?
Canada’s path was a bit extra laboured than Sweden’s, however the Reds have lots of momentum after upsetting the U.S. within the semifinals courtesy Jessie Fleming’s penalty kick within the 74th minute.
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Within the earlier spherical, Canada was in a dogfight towards Brazil, taking part in to a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes earlier than rising victorious in a penalty shootout during which Stephanie Labbé made two massive saves.
The Canadians booked their spot within the knockout spherical on the power of a 1-0-2 file to complete second in Group E, incomes 1-1 attracts towards Japan and Nice Britain, and beating Chile 2-1 because of a brace from Janine Beckie.
Canadian participant to look at: Christine Sinclair
Who else might or not it’s?
The long-lasting Canadian captain has had a quiet event (by her excessive requirements) with only one aim in 4 appearances and missed a penalty within the shootout win over Brazil within the quarter-finals.
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However her diligent work off the ball as the primary line of defence helped Canada maintain back-to-back clear sheets, whereas additionally offering priceless management within the epic win over the U.S.
Sinclair has a historical past of developing massive in massive moments, so this gold-medal recreation was tailored for the veteran Canadian ahead.
How did Sweden get to the ultimate?
Sweden signalled its intent at Tokyo 2020 proper from the beginning by dismantling the U.S., the No. 1 ranked group on the planet, 3-0 of their opening match.
They adopted that up with convincing victories over Australia and New Zealand to complete first in Group G.
The Swedes saved it going with a formidable 3-1 win over host Japan within the quarter-finals, however a rematch with Australia within the semifinals proved harder than their group stage contest.
Fridolina Rolfö scored within the forty sixth minute, with the Swedes hanging on for pricey life in a 1-0 win after Australia poured on the stress for the remainder of the second half.
Swedish participant to look at: Stina Blackstenius
The 25-year-old striker has a team-high 4 targets within the event and arrange Rolfö’s game-winner towards Australia.
The Canadians can have nightmares about dealing with Blackstenius, because it was her aim that was the distinction within the match that knocked Canada out of the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
Canadian scouting report
Canada has made it to the gold medal recreation largely on the power of its defence, having recorded back-to-back shutout wins over Brazil and the U.S. — nations that outrank them — of their quarter-finals and semifinals.
Goalkeeper Labbé has routinely put her physique on the road, making essential saves at important instances. A defence anchored by centre backs Kadeisha Buchanan and Vanessa Gilles (who changed Shelina Zadorsky as a starter) has given away little or no through the knockout stage.
Objectives have been onerous to come back by for Canada — solely as soon as have they scored a number of targets in a recreation, and so they’ve struggled to create possibilities at instances. Notably, Sinclair hasn’t discovered the again of the online since scoring within the Reds’ opening 1-1 draw vs. Japan.
If Canada is to drag off one other upset Friday, the defence should proceed to be at its finest, and the attackers have to discover a strategy to unbalance Sweden’s again line and be medical in entrance of aim.
Projected beginning lineup for Canada
Goalkeeper: Stephanie Labbé
Defenders: Allysha Chapman, Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Ashley Lawrence
Midfielders: Jessie Fleming, Desiree Scott, Quinn
Forwards: Christine Sinclair, Janine Beckie, Nichelle Prince
Swedish scouting report
Merely put, Sweden has been the most effective group right here, cruising by way of the group stage and incomes a pair of spectacular wins within the knockout spherical to go an ideal 5-0-0.
Led by star striker Blackstenius, the Swedes boast the second-best assault of the event with 13 targets, and have conceded simply 3 times, with three clear sheets to their credit score.
Canada has by no means trailed in Tokyo, so the important thing for Sweden will probably be to place stress on the defence proper from kickoff.
If the Swedes can take an early lead and power Canada to chase the sport and are available from behind, it might be a protracted day for a Canadian group that is been shy about taking photographs and has as a substitute seemed to create the right scoring alternative.
Canada vs. Sweden: The rivalry
The Canada-Sweden rivalry hasn’t been almost as lopsided as Canada vs. the U.S., but it surely nonetheless does not make nice studying for the Canadians.
Canada has suffered 14 losses (with simply 5 wins) in 23 all-time matches towards Sweden relationship again to their first assembly on July 5, 1987 in Minnesota.
The Swedes are unbeaten of their final three matches (with two wins) vs. Canada, with the Canadians’ earlier win approaching Apr. 6, 2017, in a 1-0 resolution in a world pleasant in Trelleborg, Sweden.
Sweden got here out on high over Canada of their final encounter, incomes a 1-0 victory within the spherical of 16 on the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
Blackstenius opened the scoring off a setup from Kosovare Asllani to present Sweden a 1-0 lead within the fifty fifth minute after it managed a lot of the sport up till that time.
Fourteen minutes later, Asllani was known as for a hand ball inside her 18-yard field and Canada was awarded a penalty. However as a substitute of Christine Sinclair, it was Beckie who took the penalty, solely to see it saved by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
Canada could not recuperate and exited the event.
Groups vying for time change
Canada Soccer has backed Sweden’s request to reschedule the match from its present begin time of 11 a.m. Tokyo time on Friday on account of considerations about extreme warmth.
The nationwide group cited the “well being and security” of its gamers as the explanation for its place, as warmth continues to be an element on the Olympics.
The groups are proposing a brand new time of Friday at 4 a.m. ET (5 p.m. in Tokyo), in response to CBC Sports activities’ Kelly VanderBeek.