It’s been a back-and-forth rivalry between Canada and Brazil in women’s soccer.
Since 1996, Canada has posted five wins, five ties and six loses against Brazil in international play. The latest meetings will take place this Saturday, June 4 in Toronto and Tuesday, June 7 in Ottawa as the two teams continue to prepare for Rio 2016.
“With Brazil you can always expect a physical battle,” said veteran midfielder Diana Matheson. “They’re one of the toughest teams and they know all of the tricks in the book. It should be exciting. They’re great on the ball and they’re going to create chances – and we’re going to create chances too.”
Canada lost twice to Brazil at the 2015 International Tournament of Natal this past December, including 3-1 loss in the final. But Canada got some revenge at the Algrave Cup in Portugal, edging Brazil 2-1 in the tournament final.
With Rio 2016 just over two months away, these matches will be used as a tune-up for the Olympics.
“At this point, we’re preparing for the Olympics,” said Matheson. “It’s past the time of trying things out – it’s about putting in a performance that can get us results.”
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Youth will be served for Canada with 11 of the 20 players named to the roster under the age of 23-years-old. Only five players are over the age of 30. Veterans like Matheson, Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi will be complemented by the likes of Janine Beckie and Kadeisha Buchanan.
Buchanan was the winner of the Young Player Award at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
These two games will also be Canada’s final matches on home turf before Rio 2016.
“Playing at home is something we don’t often get to do. I think it’s amazing to get that sea of red behind you,” said midfielder Desiree Scott.
Canada has already qualified for women’s soccer at Rio 2016, which will take place August 3-19. Canada’s first game is on August 3 against Australia.