FIFA Women’s World Cup: Canada vs. the Netherlands by the numbers

Former Canadian National player Kara Lang-Romero outlines the keys for Canada against the Netherlands, and why a strong performance from its backline is so important in the toughest World Cup test to date.

The Netherlands have made incredible leaps in women’s soccer over the last four years, with 2015 marking the team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup debut.

Since reaching the knockout stages in Canada, the Dutch have climbed to No. 8 in the current FIFA world rankings (it reached seventh, an all-time high, two years ago), and won the 2017 UEFA European Championship. They also boast several dynamic scoring threats on their roster.

Not much separates the fifth-ranked Canadians and the Dutch at the moment. Both sides have won their first two matches at this year’s World Cup in France, and as it stands right now, a single goal is proving to be the difference between first and second place in Group E, with the Netherlands holding the advantage.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers between Canada and the Netherlands ahead of Thursday’s meeting in Reims that will see one team clinch top spot in the group:

1 — There’s only one set of professional teammates slated to go head-to-head in this game. Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan and Dutch forward Shanice van de Sanden both suit up for French club Olympique Lyonnais.

2 — Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe has earned two clean sheets to open this World Cup. Her lone save thus far came in the Reds’ 1-0 win over Cameroon.

6 — Canadian captain Christine Sinclair has found the back of the net on six occasions against the Netherlands. She twice netted a brace, at the 2009 Cyprus Cup and the 2010 Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo.

7 — 2019 is Canada’s seventh consecutive appearance at the Women’s World Cup. The team’s best finish came in 2003, when it placed fourth.

9 — A Canadian win would take them to nine victories all-time at the World Cup. Canada has qualified for seven of eight editions of the tournament, with a standing record of 8-5-12.

10 — Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie lead Canada in shots at this World Cup with 10 each, respectively. Where they differ is location. Seven of Beckie’s attempts have come outside of the penalty area, while eight of Sinclair’s have been from inside the box.

12 — Canada is undefeated in 12 all-time meetings against the Netherlands. They’ve played to three draws, and the rest were Canadian wins. Their most recent match was a friendly on April 10, 2016, in Eindhoven. Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie scored in a 2-1 win for Canada, while Stefanie van der Gragt found the back of the net for the Dutch. The teams also played to a 1-1 draw in Montreal during the group stage of the 2015 World Cup.

16 — Both Canada and the Netherlands have already advanced to the Round of 16 in France. For the Canadians, it’s their third time they’ve moved on from the group stages, while the Dutch are moving on to their second consecutive knockout stage.

18 — Through two matches in France, Canada has committed 18 fouls and earned 18 corners.

23.9 — No one has covered more ground for Canada at this World Cup, literally, than midfielder Jessie Fleming. She has run 23.9 km. She’s followed by Janine Beckie (21.2 km) and Ashley Lawrence (20.8 km).

25.03 — Canada’s roster is the tournament’s fourth youngest. The group features three teenagers (Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso and Jordyn Huitema) and 12 players in their early to mid-20s. The overall average of the rosters in France is 26.06.

60 — At just 22 years old, Vivianne Miedema is the Netherlands’ most prolific scorer, with 60 goals in 77 appearances. Her latest two goals came in last week’s 3-1 victory over Cameroon. She has never scored against Canada.

104 — Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman played 104 games over the span of her international career, becoming the first Dutch player to hit the century milestone. She debuted for her country when she was 16 in 1987. She won the Best FIFA Women’s Coach award in 2017, leading her side to the European Championship.

164 — Midfielder Sherida Spitse is the Oranje’s most capped player with 164 appearances entering Thursday’s meeting versus Canada. She’s scored 30 goals over her career.

181 — Christine Sinclair is four goals away from breaking Abby Wambach’s all-time international record of 184.

45,420 — Over 45,000 spectators were on hand at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium when Canada and the Netherlands squared off at the 2015 World Cup. Ashley Lawrence found the back of the net for Canada early in the match, while Kirsten Van de Ven replied for the Dutch in the 87th minute.

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