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  • Writer's pictureElias Laradi

Soccer: CanWNT opponents revealed for Paris 2024 Olympic tournament

Updated: Apr 7

By Elias Laradi

Jaedyn Shaw (#8) of the USA controls the ball as  Canada's Vanessa Gilles is in pursuit
Both the United States and Canada will compete for gold the Olympics in 2024 (Photo Credit: CONCACAF)

On Wednesday, the groups were confirmed for the 2024 Paris Olympic Football tournament and Canada seemingly has a favourable group with host nation France, New Zealand, and Colombia.

“I’m excited for the group”, Canada head coach Bev Priestman told the media virtually after the draw was made. “I didn’t want to play familiar opponents. I am excited to play a host nation that’s always an experience. We don’t have a lot to draw on with Colombia and we have experience with New Zealand.”

Canada most recently faced France last April in Le Mans right before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand losing 2-1.

"I'm excited. We know more than ever that there's not an easy game in the women's game, no matter what the ranking is. We know the other routes we could have gone down—pleased, excited, but taking nothing for granted."

There is also history as the teams most recently played in an Olympic setting back in London in 2012 when Diana Matheson scored the game-winner in the 92nd minute to seal a bronze medal for her country.

"I think we've had some great experiences and results, minus a World Cup against Australia. I think we're in a different place than when we played Australia at home. These are the moments you want to play as a player and a coach." - Canada Head Coach, Bev Priestman

“In regards to Colombia, an opponent they have never faced Priestman is expecting a physical matchup from a country that most recently reached the quarterfinals of a World Cup.”

"We have to match them physically. They have a relentless mindset no matter what the score is. It's a shame we don't have that experience, but it's a new opponent, and we're excited."

The toughest take for Priestman will be whittling down her roster to 18 players which is the maximum she can take to Paris.

“Some players have put themselves in a good position post-World Cup. character is important with 18 players and 4 alternates—& investment in youth. There are things to weigh there. I wish I could say the 18 was clear. It's unfair based on what I have in front of me."

Canada will be in Group A with hosts France, Colombia and New Zealand (Image credit: Canada Soccer)

Canada has been very successful winning two Bronze medals (2012 & 2016) and one gold (2021) and Priestman was asked about the success in an Olympic game setting.

“Olympics tend to come off the back of disappointing World Cups. The Olympics holds a dear space in our athletes' hearts, and we know that. It's about getting the best out of Canada."

In regards to New Zealand, Canada has won the last three games with two international friendlies back in 2021 and also a win at the 2019 World Cup, which Canada hosted.

Canada will open the tournament on July 25th against New Zealand at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in St Etienne and will face France three days later at the exact same stadium before traveling to Nice to face Colombia at Allianz Riviera Stadium on July 31st.



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