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Rio Olympics Football Preview: Canada vs France

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Canada’s Women’s National Team will face France in the quarter-final knockout round of the Rio 2016 Olympic Football Tournament 12 August at 19:00 local (18:00 ET/15:00 PT) at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The winner will go on to the semi-final and guarantee their team a chance to play for an Olympic medal, and make Olympic football history.

Impressive wins over FIFA Women’s World ranked number five Australia, number ninety-three Zimbabwe and number two Germany in the group stage, Canada was the only team to secure top spot in its Olympic group with a perfect nine points, making history in the process, and earning a berth in the Sao Paulo Quarterfinal match.

“We said all along that we wanted to get back to Sao Paulo, which has been our home stadium here in Brazil,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “The players were excited going into that match against Germany, knowing a win would bring us back here, and they were very clear on what they wanted to do: beat the world’s second best team and make history. We wanted to finish top of the group with nine points – be the first Canadian team to do that – and set a high standard for Canadians that come after us.”

With only 12 teams in the Olympic football tournament Canada knew coming in that it would have to dispatch some tier one talent to make it to the podium. Having defeated Australia and Germany in the group stage, only FIFA Women’s World ranked number three France stands between Canada and a shot at another Olympic medal. Canada’s all-time record against France is 4-5-3.

“France is a world-class team and we know what they are capable of, having played them a few weeks ago in our Olympic preparations,” said Herdman. “That game showed that physically, mentally and technically we are ready. France is the third best team in the world and that’s clear from the recent results they’ve had, but this is a Canadian team that is very gritty and one with a great spirit.”

The winner of Friday’s Canada v France match will take on the winner of the Germany v China quarter-final taking place in Salvador. The two other quarter-finals will feature Brazil v Australia and USA v Sweden.