Nigeria vs. Canada
This match from Group A has now become meaningless, as Canada coming off a 4-0 beating at the hands of France take on Nigeria at Glücksgas Stadium in Dresden, Germany who lost 1-0 to the host nation in what was a very rough encounter to say the least.
The less said about this Canadian performance the better, to say that they were completely out classed doesn’t do it justice nor does it give France enough credit. This was hands down the worst defensive performance that the Canadian Women’s National Team has ever put out and shows even with the guidance and likeability of Coach Carolina Morace there is still loads and loads of work to do. The shocking aspect of this match compared to the opener against Germany is that they actually managed to regress, France had an easier time on the ball, has ample amount of space to work with and finished their chances with much more ease. The fact is Christine Sinclair can’t do all the attacking and defending by herself, and other then midfielder Sophie Schmidt and goalkeeper Erin McLeod the rest of this team might as well have not made the trip. They go into this match against Nigeria needing to show any sense of attacking flair, ball possession and defensive attitude they have, but looking at how Nigeria played against Germany this isn’t the banker that it was thought to be when the tournament started.
As for Nigeria, they may have lost 1-0 and were subsequently eliminated but played a much improved match then their opener against France and unsettled the Germans with physicality, borderline tackles and got into their heads with some unsportsmanlike antics. It may not be the type of style that purists respect but they did whatever necessary to unsettle their opponents and it almost worked, if they do something similar against Canada they will at least come away with a share of the spoils. It was clear that Coach Ngozi Uche sent her team out with this plan in mind and if they want to end the tournament on a high note they should do the exact same thing this time around, get in the face of the Canadians, unsettle them and take their minds off the task at hand. Look for the Super Falcons to use the physical strength of Perpetua Nkwocha, Ebere Orji and Desire Oparanozie in a variety of ways.
This is the definition of a meaningless match, I’m going with the under as I think Nigeria will use their size advantage and with Christine Sinclair likely not to be risked in this match Canada lose their inspirational leader and only goal threat.