Looking to get back on the Olympic podium after a bronze medal win at London 2012, the Canadian women’s team discovered its group stage opponents for the Rio 2016 football tournament on Thursday.
In a draw held at Maracana Stadium, where the finals for the women’s and men’s tournaments will take place (as well the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the first Olympic Games in South America), the Canadian women’s team was drawn into a group with Germany, Australia and Zimbabwe.
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For the 12-team women’s tournament, Canada was in ‘pot 3’ with China and New Zealand. ‘Pot 1’ had the host Brazil, USA and Germany, each to head its respective groups. One team was selected from each of the remaining three spots to be grouped with the host country, the top ranked Americans or Germans.
Once the draw had concluded, the groups looked as follows:
Group I: Brazil, China, Sweden, South Africa
Group II: Germany, Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe
Group III: USA, France, New Zealand, Colombia
(Note: The three groups above are officially called Groups E, F, G to take the men’s draw into consideration, where the first four groups are labeled A, B, C, D. Canadian women are in Group F).
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The top two teams in each group will automatically advanced to the quarterfinals. Two countries that boast the best third place group stage records will also head to the final eight.
Canada’s first match is expected to be against Australia on August 3 (two days before the Opening Ceremony) in Sao Paulo, where the Canadians will remain to face Zimbabwe three days later. The group stage concludes in the capital city Brasilia against Germany on August 9.
In preparation for the tournament, Canada will play two matches in Toronto (June 4) and Ottawa (June 7), both against Brazil. Purchase tickets here