Canada’s Women’s Soccer To Open With Japan
Canada’s women’s soccer team got quite the mix-up of events during Wednesday’s Olympic soccer draw. In the bag was a high-octane opener against Olympic hosts Japan, the treat of a banana skin against Olympic newcomers Chile, and even a first-round finishing stunt against Great Britain.
The Canadians, who are currently ranked eighth, and bronze-medal holders at the previous two Olympic runs, were sectioned in Group E together with the No. 11-ranked Japan, NO. 6rs England, Scotland at 23, No. 32-ranked Wales, Northern Ireland at No. 48, and debutants the No. 37-ranked Chile during Wednesday’s Olympic draw.
July 21st will see the Canadians opening their Olympic competition against hosts Japan at the Sapporo Stadium. The stand-off is booked for two days before the official start of this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Off To A Great Start
Canada coach Bev Priestman after Wednesday’s selections opening run described the day’s events as quite the opener to this year’s Olympics, adding that this was exactly where the Canadians had wanted to be – both from the perspective of players as well as coaches.
Priestman described those grouped together with Canada as a “tough group”. She said that playing against the best teams had been a blessing instead of a negative experience for the team, because playing against the best teams meant the best shot at ultimately walking away with a medal in hand.
Even debutante side Chile are showing themselves to be high contenders, said the Canadian soccer coach. She described them to be a side that had been super difficult and hard to beat.
‘21 A Special Year In Many Ways
This year will not be the first time Canada has played at Kashima Stadium. The Canadian men’s side held mighty brazil back to a 0-0 draw at the very same location during the Confederations Cup of 2001.
The draw itself, which had initially been scheduled to be played in Japan, was contested in Zurich, at FIFA’s headquarters.
The Olympic competition this year runs from July 21 through August 7, and respectively Tokyo, Kashima, Yokohama, Miyagi, Saitama, and Sapporo – with the women’s final scheduled to be contested at Tokyo’s brand-new Olympic Stadium on August 6. The women’s final will be played at the same stadium set to host both the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies for this year.
This year will also witness the crowning of an all-new Olympic women’s champion after Germany failed to make it through the qualifying rounds.
According to Priestman, Japan will be the squad to trump this year. The last time the two sides met, Canada lost 4-0 to the Olympic hosts.