It was “job done for Canada” in women’s soccer on Saturday, with a 3-1 win over Zimbabwe giving the team its second straight win.
“It was crucial that we came out of these first two games with six points,” said head coach John Herdman, whose team also defeated Australia 2-0 on Wednesday.
“It really puts us into the driving seat going into that third game.”
The combination of Canada’s win and a 2-2 draw between Germany and Australia clinched a spot in the quarterfinals for the Canadians, ahead their third group-stage game, against the Germans on Tuesday.
In that game, Herdman said he expects to rest some players who have played in Canada’s first two games, and give playing time to some of the squad’s new players.
“I think it’s important for our team that we are using the full depth and giving these players who’ve worked a chance to become Olympians, true Olympians where they step on a football field and perform,” he said.
“That’s important in our culture.”
One of those newcomers to the team is 17-year-old Deanne Rose, the youngest player on Canada’s roster. She made her Olympic debut in the game against Zimbabwe, coming into the game as a substitute.
“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be,” she said of entering the game. “I think some of the international games I’ve had, playing at home, that helped with the nerves, just getting used to the crowd.”
She could get her first Olympic start in the upcoming game against Germany, though she said that she understands her current place within the team.
“Being a young player I don’t really expect to be getting as much playing time as the senior players,” said Rose. “It’s important to know your role, accept it and wait your turn, pretty much.”
Her turn could come in Canada’s next game, the result of which will help determine who the team faces in the quarterfinals.