Section leaders Australia hold the upper hand going into their
concluding Group C game against Canada, who rest one point shy of
both them and Norway. But while a point would be good enough to
send the exciting Matildas through to the last eight, Tom Sermanni
will be urging his players to go out and secure top spot, which
would avoid a probable encounter with the on-song Brazilians in the
quarter-finals. After a convincing 4-0 win over Ghana in their
previous outing, though, Canada and their in-form skipper Christine
Sinclair will be confident they can do enough to gain a place in
the knockout stage.
Australia v Canada, Chengdu, Thursday 20 September, 17:00 (local time)
Australia require a point to make sure of qualifying, whereas Canada need to win if they are not to be left waiting on the result of the Norway-Ghana game. A draw would be good enough for the Canucks only if Ghana were to defeat Norway. As for Australia, they stand level on points with the Scandinavians but possess a superior goal difference (+3 compared to +1), meaning that if both sides lost their matches, the Matildas would advance.
Katie Thorlakson went off injured against Ghana, but Canada coach Even Pellerud revealed afterwards that it was just cramp. Australia will not be hindered by injury or suspension, with Joanne Peters and Sally Shipard available for selection and Sarah Walsh set to start.
Australia is an experienced team. They have a physical team and a tactical team.They are fielding a couple of the fastest strikers I have ever seen in women's soccer, and they're going to be a big challenge for us - Even Pellerud, Canada coach
Canada are a very difficult side to play against, very physically strong, and they play a direct type of football that suits the players they have. They will also be extremely dangerous from set-pieces. They're a very competitive team, one that never gives up - Tom Sermanni, Australia coach