The opponents: China 2007

So just who will Canada be facing in the opening round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007? Almost four months ago, Canada’s women’s national team was drawn into Group C with Norge (Norway), Australia and Ghana.



“Norway will be considered the favorites in Group C but we should put in a good fight for second place” says coach Even Pellerud. “We know Australia quite well but we will need to scout the African team during our preparations”.

So just who will Canada be facing in the opening round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007? Almost four months ago, Canada’s women’s national team was drawn into Group C with Norge (Norway), Australia and Ghana.



“Norway will be considered the favorites in Group C but we should put in a good fight for second place” says coach Even Pellerud. “We know Australia quite well but we will need to scout the African team during our preparations”.



12 September – Canada – Norge



Coach Pellerud, of course, is a former coach of the Norwegian women’s football team. The scandanavian country enjoyed great success under coach Pellerud in the 1990s. The team won a silver medal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 1991 and then a gold medal at Sverige 1995. The team also won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996 in Atlanta.



Norge is one of the best women’s football countries in the world. Canada’s last match against Norge was an 0:3 loss on 31 May 2005 in an international friendly. Since taking over the Canadian coaching duties in 2000, Pellerud has faced his old club five times. Canada has drawn just one of those matches and lost four times.



In the five head-to-head match-ups under coach Pellerud, Canada has been outscored 4-17. Charmaine Hooper has two of those goals while Andrea Neil (who should pass Hooper for all-time caps during the tournament) and Christine Sinclair have the other two. In fact, Sinclair’s first goal with the senior team was scored against Norge back on 14 March 2000 (Sinclair and Pellerud’s second-ever game with the Canadian team).



15 September – Canada – Ghana



Coach Pellerud and the Canadian side has faced Ghana just once in their history: a 1:1 draw in an international friendly on 16 August 2003. The goal scorer (of course) was Sinclair. This will be Ghana’s third-straight trip to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They finished 13th at USA 1999 (one place behind Canada) and 12th at USA 2003.



Ghana’s top player is captain Adjoa Bayor, a former African women’s footballer of the year. Bayor will be making her third trip to the FIFA Women’s World Cup with the Black Queens.



19 September – Canada – Australia



Like Norge, Australia has faced Canada five times since 2000. Although not a world power like former champions Norge, Australia are as much of a medal favourite as Canada.



Canada has fared much better against the Aussies than Norge. In their five matches, Canada has three wins, one draw and one loss. The most recent match was a 2:0 victory on 14 September 2003. Canada has outscored their opponent 6-1 in those five games: two by current players (Sinclair and Rhian Wilkinson) and four by former players (Hooper, Silvana Burtini and Isabelle Morneau twice).



Like Canada, Australia is taking part in their fourth-straight FIFA Women’s World Cup. They finished last (12th) at Sverige 1995, 11th (out of 16) at USA 1999, and 13th at USA 2003. Autralia also has the experience of playing in two Olympic football tournaments: 7th out of 8 teams as hosts at Sydney 2000 and fifth out of 10 teams at Greece 2004.


Guidelines for the Return to Soccer

Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.