FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: Canada vs Switzerland in the Round of 16

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The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

After going undefeated in the group stage, now the real fun begins. Sixteen teams have qualified for the knockout stage and it will be a win or go home tournament until the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final is played on July 5.

Canada will face Switzerland in the Round of 16 at BC Place Stadium. The game will take place on Sunday at 4:30 pm and will be broadcast live on CTV.

Canada, ranked 8th in FIFA’s world rankings, had a bittersweet opening round. With one win and two ties, the Canadian women got the job done and won their group, but they would have preferred to accomplish it with some more flare.

It took a soft call against 16th ranked China to set-up some late game heroics from Christine Sinclair in the tournament opener. Canada had to be disappointed with their second game, an uninspiring 0-0 draw to 17th ranked New Zealand. Their round robin finale against the 12th ranked Dutch went according to plan until they gave up a late marker and had to settle for another tie.

While three emphatic wins would have been nice, Canada’s group didn’t contain any soccer minnows of the world and they remained undefeated while conceding just one goal. And they accomplished this with minimal impact from their star, Christine Sinclair. Sinclair is due for a breakout performance and she would love to have it come in her hometown on Sunday.

Concerning for Canada is the injury status of one of their best players, Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt. Schmidt left their last game against the Netherlands after a violent collision with Kirsten Van De Ven. 

It sounds like Canada’s best midfielder will play, but it’s unlikely that she will be performing at 100%. Schmidt didn’t practice with the team on Thursday.

Switzerland should be comfortable being back in Vancouver, their home for most of the tournament. The Swiss had a strong showing against defending champion Japan, but lost 1-0. Their other game at BC Place was a 10-1 drubbing of 48th ranked Ecuador.

Ranked 19th in the world, Switzerland was undoubtedly disappointed in losing their final game of the group stage to 53rd ranked Cameroon.

Canada has never lost to Switzerland, winning three times and tying once in four all-time matches. More than 50,000 excited fans will hope that trend continues on Sunday.

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
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