Women’s World Cup: Highlights from the Third Round of Matches

The third and last round of the group stage had a few nail-biters: Spain vs Korea Republic, Canada vs Netherlands, Australia vs Sweden. The WWC has given us a little bit of everything in terms of quality and style, however Germany and Japan have – by far – been real standouts. Their respective programs are phenomenal and you can see the results of that on the pitch.

Consistent and substantial funding is truly the primary way to get a nation’s senior women’s team on par with countries who have been at the forefront of the game for decades. Canada’s historically inconsistent showing is about a lack of proper funding and poor leadership on the part of the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association). Right now there is a real push from the CAN WNT team to catch-up with leaders in the sport, although this should have happened a decade ago.

Which is what Ecuador’s WNT coach Vanessa Arauz would like to see in her home country. Arauz is working miracles with her team, a group that had a very slim chance of qualifying for the 2015 WWC not because of a lack in talent, in fact its about poor funding and slim opportunities for girls and women to play in Ecuador. [Read more about Arauz at Vice Sports].

Have you ever wondered how much teams are awarded for participating in the WWC? TSN breaks is down for you: Cash incentive as Canada advances at World Cup. The 2015 WWC winner gets $2 million – the MWC winner, Germany, received $35 million in 2014. Quite the discrepancy huh?

Pictures*** from Ottawa matches played on June 17th are below.
[Match 1: France vs Mexico & Match 2: Korea Republic vs Spain]

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***All pictures © Cristina Murano

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Women’s World Cup: Highlights from the Second Round of Matches

Here’s where things stand at the end of the second round of group matches: WWC Groups & Standings. As you can see across all groups, teams are quite close in points, which means that the third round of group stage matches will a: be the difference between advancing and getting eliminated & b: provide outstanding soccer from some key countries.

Tonight’s Netherlands vs Canada game, for instance, is a really big deal. The Canadian WNT hasn’t clinched a spot in the Round of 16 – if they lose and China wins their game than Canada drops to 3rd place in Group A. At that point, their fate depends on how all other groups shake down as only 4 out of the 6 3rd place teams advance. Make sense?

On my way back from Ottawa on Thursday night, I listened to this incredible podcast by BBC World Service: The Future of Women’s Football. It chronicles the development of women’s soccer throughout the world, the impact of sexism and underfunding on up and coming players, and the dedication and perseverance of women at the elite level who are continuing to push the boundaries.

Pictures*** from Ottawa matches played on June 11th are below.
[Match 1: Germany vs Norway & Match 2: Thailand vs Cote d’Ivoire]

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***All pictures © Cristina Murano

2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup

First off, check out the photo of the Senior Women’s Canadian Rugby Team, taken at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, and posted to their Twitter page header: https://twitter.com/RugbyCanada. Pretty fucking awesome, right?!

The Senior Women’s team has been competing in France at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup for the past few weeks, and on Wednesday, August 13 they beat France in a grueling semi-final match. Their win puts them into the finals against England, and the last time these two teams met on August 9, they tied 13 – 13. This final match should be monumental!

Rugby Canada has been posting photos, videos, and updates about the tournament, which, if not familiar with the sport, is a great way to get up-to-speed. Canadian media outlets, CBC, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, have been commenting that the success of the Senior Women’s team at this tournament has garnered some much-needed attention for the sport, especially for women.

The finals of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be played on Sunday, August 17. The game will be aired live by TSN2 at 12:30PM ET. For tournament highlights and coverage, check out TSN.