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2023 Women's World Cup

Olympic gold medal? Check. But how far can Canada go at the World Cup?

Photo: Mélanie Antoine/Canada Soccer

MELBOURNE, Australia — The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway and the Olympic Champions are ready to kickoff their tournament vs Nigeria today. All the preparation and hard work behind the scenes is done. The time for talk is over; it’s game day and Canada will be out to prove that their gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was not a fluke. 

Canada wants to be viewed as a serious contender. 

They wanted to be talked about as one of the top teams in the sport. If that’s going to happen, Canada needs to put together a long run at this World Cup.

The Olympic games are where Canada plays their best football. After winning back to back bronze medals, they changed the color of the medal and won gold in Japan. The same success that Canada has had at the Olympics hasn’t translated to the World Cup.

Canada has played in seven World Cups and has made it out of the group stage on three occasions. The best result for Canada came in 2003 when they finished fourth. That was Christine Sinclair’s first World Cup tournament. Meanwhile, Canada has made it to the quarterfinal stage of a World Cup twice. 

As they get set to play Nigeria, Canada isn’t taking the Super Falcons lightly. In the last meeting between the teams, Nigeria held a 1-0 and 2-1 lead over Canada before a Shelina Zadorsky goal in the 88th minute helped Canada earn a 2-2 draw on April 12, 2022. 

Both teams are expecting an intense opening match. 

“Obviously it’s going to be a fight,” Sophie Schmidt told reporters, following training earlier this week. “They’re a very physical team. They’re very good as well, technically and individually, but I think that we as a team, we can come out with the win. Defensively our M/O (modus of operandi) is solid. No goals against, making sure that we shut everything down going forward. We have the players for that and going forward we just need to be clinical and then the game will take care of itself.” 

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