What World Cup Defeat Means for Canada Soccer
The Canadians are heading out of the World Cup after a painful defeat to co-hosts Australia. Canada were well beaten on Monday as they lost 4-0 but had previously drawn to Nigeria and beaten Ireland. Elsewhere in the group, results didn’t go their way, and now they’ll be crashing out of the tournament before reaching the knockout stages, despite being stronger than ever.
The World Cup will continue with the first knockout games taking place soon, although, unfortunately, Canada won’t be involved. Still, you can find all the latest news and odds for the World Cup online, including information about Virginia sports betting.
It was only two years ago that this Canadian team managed to capture gold at the Tokyo Olympics, so the hopes of fans were high going into the FIFA World Cup this year. While Canada has never lifted the soccer World Cup, the side has gone from strength to strength under John Herdman and then Bev Priestman. Meanwhile, their talisman and record striker Christine Sinclair as looked as dependable as ever. So what exactly happened, and what does it mean for Canadian soccer?
What Went Wrong for Canada?
Perhaps a better question to ask would be, what went right? It seemed that from the opening game, everything went wrong for Canada, as their talented squad failed to live up to expectations. They faced Nigeria in their first game, who, despite being ranked 40th in the world, put in a spirited performance. Although Canada won a penalty, their normally reliable striker Sinclair missed from the spot.
Their second game against Ireland saw them win, but it was hardly a convincing performance, as they needed an own goal from an Ireland defender to take the three points. The less said about their final game against Australia, the better, but they had a great chance to qualify for the knockouts and failed to show what they’re capable of.
It’s clear that the quality of international women’s soccer has advanced significantly in recent years. Although Canada used to be one of the strongest, they haven’t improved at the same rate as some other teams. They’ve also struggled with a lot of injuries to key players, including Janine Beckee and Desiree Scott, who both missed out.
How Canada Can Improve for the Future
While this is no doubt a blow to Canadian soccer, it’s also a good time to reflect on what went wrong and how things can be improved in the future. While there are no quick fixes in international soccer, there are four years to prepare before the next World Cup, giving coaches plenty of time to get things right.
Throughout the tournament, Canada only managed to score a single goal, and this is something that obviously needs to be improved on. Sinclair, for all of her experience and records, is no longer what Canada needs, and it seems like she’ll be retiring from the national team. Bringing in new and emerging talents is necessary in any sports team and can be key to helping the side unlock goals.
Aside from goalscoring, the Canadian team also showed a weakness in controlling the tempo of the game and being focused from the first minute to the last. In two of their three games, they managed to find themselves a goal down within the opening ten minutes, meaning they faced an uphill struggle. In the early stages of a game, controlling the tempo and allowing all players to get some touches in is a good way to settle the nerves and prevent goals from going in.