Canada's Nichelle Prince (#9) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning goal against Finland in a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match at the National Soccer Stadium on August 8, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
MONTREAL – Literally nothing is certain for Canada (3 points) as it faces table-topping Korea DPR (6 points) on Tuesday in the final Group A game for each at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament host, depending on the result of the simultaneously played match between Ghana (3 points) and Finland (0 points), can progress to the quarterfinals or be eliminated…win, draw or lose.
After receiving vociferous support in a pair of very well-attended matches in Toronto, the Canadians will shift operations to the enclosed Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Regardless of the venue, taking on one of the strongest women’s programs in the world at any level will present challenges.
“Korea is very organized, very disciplined and very collective in attack and defending with great numbers,” said Canada head coach Andrew Olivieri. “They have a lot of quality and are consistent throughout the game so they don’t make many mistakes so it’s just up to us to capitalize on mistakes when they do make them.”
Canada is currently level with Ghana in second place, but has a slight advantage on goal difference. Even Finland, which lost in its opening two outings, can advance possibly with a win and a Canada loss.
Despite the dizzying assortment of tie-breaking scenarios, Olivieri is focused on the present performance and the future objectives.
“We’re hoping to take that next step and get into a quarterfinal and beyond the quarterfinals,” said Olivieri. “That would be very important for us as a program in terms of the progress we’re trying to establish.”
Canada last advanced to the knockout stages of the competition in 2004, when it was played as an under-19 event.