Canada and France square off in Bochum in a contest that could prove crucial to the qualification hopes of the two Group A sides. While France will be looking for the three points they need to secure qualification before their final match, the Canadians will be desperate for a win to get their campaign back on track after their loss to 2007 champions Germany.
Canada have participated in four editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals but only once have they progressed beyond the group stages, when they took fourth place in 2003. The side will be eager for a repeat of that performance and given their record against the French they look to be in with a chance. The sides have met six times to date (though never in a FIFA competition) and given that all the matches have been played in France, the Canadians can be proud of their tally of three victories and two draws.
Their record against Canada may be nothing to write home about but France go into the game on a high after a steady start to their campaign, a 1-0 win over Nigeria. If they manage to repeat the feat on Thursday they will qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history. In their only previous attempt, at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup USA, Les Bleues went out at the group stage after losing to Norway 2-0, beating Korea Republic 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Brazil.
5 – Tomorrow’s game will be France’s fifth at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, with each of their five opponents affiliated to a different association: Norway, Korea Republic, Brazil, Nigeria and Canada.
“We have the same aim against Canada as for all our matches: to win! I’ve told the girls they should treat this as three finals, and we have to win at least two of them. We’ve already won one, and nobody can take those three points away from us. We want to go all the way; I don’t think there’s any reason for us to take an early flight back to France!” France coach Bruno Bini
“The French are very strong as a group. They’re exceptionally fit and very good on and off the ball so we must make sure we treat them as a unit and not focus on individual players.” Canada midfielder Kaylyn Kyle