There were some teams that had it harder than others in the Round of 16: Australia, Canada, England … but there were also scary flashes of defeat when Japan was playing the Netherlands, and China vs Cameroon. Canada couldn’t have scripted a better pathway to the semi-finals than what they’ve been given this WWC. I thought they had a good game against Switzerland but that the team as a whole was not consistent or cohesive enough. Ultimately it was individual play that propelled them to the win, particularly from Erin McLeod, Josee Belanger and Alysha Chapman.
What was also fun about the Round of 16 was the trash talk. I think it’s fair to say that Colombia hates the US – they certainly have a history with each other. Lady Andrade, Colombia’s star striker and sometimes midfielder, said before the Colombia – US match-up: “They belittle us. They think we’re a team they’re going to walk all over and it will be an easy game for them … we’re going to beat them since they like to talk so much”. Needless to say the Colombians didn’t beat the Americans, but I love the attitude!
Watching England play Norway in the Round of 16, I thought they showed strong goaltending and made strong defensive decisions. They struggle with scoring, with their offensive game basically, however that’s exactly where Canada sits too. So in the end, the Canada – England match-up will be the toughest, and ideal, quarter-final game for the Canadian squad. I have a feeling Canada will win.
Happy Pride Toronto!
Pictures*** from Ottawa matches played on June 20th and June 22nd are below.
[Match 1: Germany vs Sweden & Match 2: England vs Norway]
***All pictures © Cristina Murano