Canadian quarter-final fate to be decided on Tuesday

For more information on the Canada-Sweden match, please visit the following fixture link.



It may be difficult not to watch the other matches on Tuesday 12 August at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. If Canada is poised to advance to the quarter-final stage, its opponent will be decided that same day. So if favourites are expected to emerge victorious on Tuesday, then Canada’s scouts may be watching four teams in three other games.



Of course, Canada’s result against Sweden will play a big part in determining who it plays three days later. A win or draw will put Canada first or second in Group E, all depending on how China does against Argentina. If you expect China to beat Argentina, then Canada will need a win and better goal differential in the final game to finish first ahead of China. A Canadian draw and Chinese win will leave Canada in second place.

For more information on the Canada-Sweden match, please visit the following fixture link.



It may be difficult not to watch the other matches on Tuesday 12 August at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. If Canada is poised to advance to the quarter-final stage, its opponent will be decided that same day. So if favourites are expected to emerge victorious on Tuesday, then Canada’s scouts may be watching four teams in three other games.



Of course, Canada’s result against Sweden will play a big part in determining who it plays three days later. A win or draw will put Canada first or second in Group E, all depending on how China does against Argentina. If you expect China to beat Argentina, then Canada will need a win and better goal differential in the final game to finish first ahead of China. A Canadian draw and Chinese win will leave Canada in second place.



Should Canada finish first or second in Group E, it should play an opponent from the very-tough Group F. Brazil, Germany and Korea DPR have one final day to determine the group’s ranking. Brazil is expected to beat Nigeria, but Korea DPR may give reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Germany a run for its money. If Brazil is expected to win, then Germany really needs a win if it wants to finish first and “avoid” Canada.



The two Group F matches will be played at 17.00 on Tuesday, well before the final Group E and Group G matches. The four Group E and G matches will all kick off together at 19.45 (07.45 ET or 04.45 PT).



So what about Group G? Should Canada take it for granted that the United States will defeat New Zealand and that Norway will defeat Japan? Norway is poised for first place in the group as it needs either a win or draw to finish ahead of the USA. Should Norway finish first, it will play the third-place team in Canada’s Group E.



Of course, if Norway loses to Japan, which is not out of the question, then you may need to throw out much of your quarter-final predictor table out the window. Japan was ranked 10th in the latest FIFA Women’s World Cup rankings (behind 9th-place Canada) while Norway was ranked fifth. Japan is in a do-or-die situation: it must pick up three points or else it will be eliminated from the tournament.



As for Canada, it could officially qualify before stepping on the pitch. If Germany defeats Korea DPR in one of the early matches, then Canada will be through, regardless of the results in the last four matches.



In Sweden, Canada faces the third-ranked country in the world. On a positive note, Canada won the last encounter on 18 July 2006, a 4:2 win in a friendly. Also, Canada did finish ahead of Sweden at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007. Finally, Sweden has already conceded a defeat in this tournament, a 1:2 loss to 14th-ranked China.



Still, Sweden will prove to be a difficult opponent on Tuesday. As well as Canada has played, succeeding a point against Sweden will be tough. In fact, Canada has picked up only four points in 11 previous matches against Sweden. The all-time Canadian record is one win, one draw and nine losses against Sweden.



So despite one’s best intentions to keep an eye on the other matches, full attention will likely be reserved for the Canada-Sweden match at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. The match will be broadcast live on CBC television and CBCSports.ca. No matter what the outcomes in the other matches, Canada will want to put its best foot forward as it prepares for a hopeful quarter-final scenario at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.

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