We came into this tournament thinking that Canada could do a really good job of progressing through to the knockout stages, and from there, could potentially even think about winning the whole thing. That sounds like a pretty long journey to get to the end goal, but it wasn’t exactly the most unrealistic of prospects in the world. During the first two games of the group stages (this is at the Women’s World Cup for those who aren’t keeping track) the Great White North was beaming with joy as they managed to secure two big results.
As reported by BBC and The Guardian, though, they couldn’t quite get over the finish line for a third time. That’s not to say that all hope is lost or anything, but they did seem to get a little bit exposed by the Dutch. Sure, they were able to pull themselves back level at one point, but we’re not entirely sure that’s saying much based on the balance of play. The end goal was to reach the knockout stages and see how they get on from there, and they’ve done that, so perhaps we’re panicking a bit too much for nothing.
Then again, maybe not. At various points throughout the game it seemed as if Canada were just kind of going through the motions, and we can’t pretend like that’s something we want to see. We want to see a little bit of drive and passion, even in a game which many fans consider to be a little bit pointless. Whatever the case may be and whatever your viewpoint is, improvements almost certainly need to be made ahead of the first knockout game against Sweden.
That, in itself, should almost certainly be viewed as a winnable tie for Canada. They shouldn’t be intimidated or afraid of anything that the Swedes throw at them, because when you really think about it, why would you be? Knockout football is one of the greatest spectacles you can see, especially on a stage like the World Cup. We’ve seen so many memorable moments come out of quarter-finals, semi-finals and even finals, and Canada have set themselves up perfectly to have one or two key moments of their own in the next few weeks.
The next step
The Dutch will enjoy their moment in the sunshine, but there’s something that tells us they could well meet again somewhere down the road. It may not happen in this tournament and perhaps not even the next, but Canada won’t be forgetting about this one in a hurry.
This is a passionate sport full of incredibly loyal fans, and the history of that is really important. Canada may have lost the battle but the war is just beginning, and we can’t stress enough how important it is going to be for them to move on as quickly as possible from this. The World Cup doesn’t come around every day, and when it does, you need to be ready to make an impact.