Canada vs. Australia Preview
Where: Corinthians Arena – Sao Paulo, Brazil
When: Wednesday, August 3, 2:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
Writer’s Pick: Australia
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Offensive Edge – Australia (+122)
Co-captain Lisa De Vanna and emerging star Samantha Kerr will provide the Matildas with other decent attacking threats up front. The 31-year-old has 38 career international goals in 110 caps, while the 22-year-old Kerr has seven in 43 caps.
The Canadians, meanwhile, scored an impressive 24 goals during CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying, topping even the mighty USA by a goal. Legendary striker Christine Sinclair scored three more goals during that tournament, adding to her career total of 162 goals in 243 caps.
Sinclair has scored eight career goals over two Olympic tournaments. She led all scorers with six in the 2012 Olympics as she led Canada to a bronze medal in London. However, they don’t have too many proven options offensively apart from the 33-year-old Sinclair, which could prove problematic.
Defensive Edge – Canada (+192)
The Canadians’ defense is no joke. Led by Kadeisha Buchanan and Josée Bélanger, they gave up just three goals in five games during qualifying, two coming in their 2-0 final defeat to the U.S. In nine matches since that loss, Canada has conceded more than one goal one other time and just six goals overall.
On the other side, the Australians similarly surrendered just three goals in five qualifying matches. However, their defense hasn’t been quite as assured recently. They are coming off a 3-1 defeat in a friendly to Brazil in their final tune-up friendly in July. With that loss, the Matildas have now failed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five matches.
Keep an eye on Australian goalie Lydia Williams, though. The 28-year-old is quickly establishing herself as one of the best goalies in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Writer’s Prediction: Australia (+122) starts the tournament on the right foot by scoring a 2-1 win over Canada.
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