It’s about to get very real for Canada at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The Reds easily brushed aside Cameroon and New Zealand, before dropping a 2-1 decision against the Netherlands in their group-stage finale. That loss meant Canada finished second in Group E, thus setting up a round-of-16 showdown with Sweden on Monday.
Not much separates these two teams. Canada and Sweden are evenly matched, and they have a fair bit of history against one another over the years, including a semifinal meeting at the 2003 Women’s World Cup.
Like Canada, Sweden breezed through the first two matches of the group stage. For its final group game against the top-ranked United States, Swedish coach Peter Gerhardsson rotated his squad and made seven line-up changes, presumably saving his best players for the round-of-16.
“We had some great quality games in the group stage and I think that now, coming out of this loss against Netherlands, we’ve got a bit of that fire,” Canadian midfielder Desiree Scott said. “It’s not that the tournament hadn’t started, but it’s real now. It’s do or die. We want to go out there and reckon that performance we gave and give it our all for this round of 16.”
The winner of this game meets Germany in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Rennes.
Here’s a closer look at the numbers between Canada and Sweden ahead of Monday’s match in Paris:
0 – Sweden has never won a knockout game at the Women’s World Cup that went beyond regular time. The Swedes lost on penalties to China in the 1995 quarterfinals and in extra time to Germany in the 2003 final. Canada has never gone to extra time at the World Cup.
1 — There’s one set of professional teammates slated to go head-to-head in Monday’s contest. Canadian fullback Ashley Lawrence and Swedish defender Hanna Glas both play for French club Paris Saint-Germain.
2 – The loss to the Netherlands was only Canada’s second in its last 17 games in all competitions, and it ended a 10-match unbeaten streak (7-0-3) that dated back to last October.
3 – Members on this Canadian team who play professionally for Swedish clubs: Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo (Vittsjö), and defenders Jenna Hellstrom (KIF Örebro) and Shannon Woeller (Eskilstuna United).
5 – Canada is fifth in the current FIFA world rankings, four spots above Sweden.
7 — 2019 is Canada’s seventh consecutive appearance at the Women’s World Cup. This is the third time the Reds have advanced to the knockout round.
8 – Sweden has played in all eight World Cups, dating back to the first tournament in 1991. The Swedes have reached the quarterfinals five times, and only once did they fail to advance beyond the group stage. Sweden’s best showing was in 2003, losing to Germany in the final.
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 8-5-13.
10 — Christine Sinclair has scored 10 goals in 20 World Cup games across five tournaments (2003 to 2019), and is tied for fifth as the competition’s all-time scorer. She ranks third amongst active players, behind Brazilians Marta (17) and Cristiane (11).
21 – This will be the 21st all-time meeting between the two nations. Canada holds a slight advantage with a 5-12-3 record, but Sweden is 3-2-3 over the last eight contests. Canada beat Sweden via a penalty shootout this past March at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
25.33 — Canada’s roster is the tournament’s third youngest. The group features three teenagers (Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso and Jordyn Huitema) and 12 players in their early to mid-20s.
31 – Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe has 31 shutouts in 64 appearances for Canada.
34 – Midfielder Kosovare Asllani is the top scorer on the current Swedish side, with 34 goals in 130 appearances. She’s scored a team-leading two goals at this World Cup.
196 — Midfielder Caroline Seger is the Swedish captain and the team’s most capped player with 196 caps.
182 — Christine Sinclair is three goals away from breaking Abby Wambach’s all-time international record of 184.
477 – The Netherlands’ opening goal against Canada in the second half marked the first time that the Reds had conceded in 477 minutes in international play.
27,623 — The number of spectators on hand in Portland, Oregon when Canada faced Sweden in the World Cup semifinals in 2003, their only previous meeting at this tournament. Kara Lang scored in the 64th minute to give the Reds a 1-0 lead, but the Swedes replied with a pair of goals in the last 11 minutes of regulation to win 2-1. Canada went on to finish fourth at the World Cup following a 3-1 loss to the U.S. in the third-place match.