Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Young Canucks to the quarters

Canada qualified to the quarter-final of theFIFA u-17 girls World Cup this morning. However, they drew what was likely the worst possible match-up in the playoff round.

Early Saturday morning the Canucks play Germany. The Germans are the pre-tournament favourite.

Canada played fairly well in it's three group games, defeating New Zealand 1-0 and drawing Columbia (1-1) and Denmark (0-0). At times, Canada looked to be the best team in all three games, but a failure to create in the final third was their undoing.

Although there are several girls on the team that show flashes of ball control ability, the Canucks still insist on playing a direct style. They are bigger than 90 per cent of the teams they play and are physically strong. Against Columbia, Canada had about 20 more fouls than the Colombians did.

The problem is that Canada won't be able to bully Germany around. The German girls will be able to physically match-up with Canada. And, they have more technical skill.

However, Canada is going into the quarters having only allowed one goal in three games. Perhaps, the Canucks will be able to play a sold defensive game with a look to take the game to penalties. It would be a major upset if Canada could advance, but if they did the path to the final would be wide open.

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