Sophie Schmidt

Canada secures spot in Olympic Semifinals with 1:0 win over France

Canada remained perfect at the Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament with a 1:0 win over France, the third-ranked nation in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.

The win continues Canada’s remarkable momentum in Brazil as they secured a spot in the 16 August Semifinals. Sophie Schmidt scored the lone goal in Canada’s fourth-straight win at Rio 2016, converting her volley from the back post after a beautiful play by Janine Beckie on the right side.

From São Paulo, Canada will head to Belo Horizonte to face Germany in the Semifinals on Tuesday 16 August at 16.00 local. It will be their second meeting in a week, with Canada winning the group finale on 9 August. The Rio 2016 Semifinals match will be broadcast live in Canada at 15.00 ET / 12.00 PT on 16 August (broadcast details to be published at olympics.cbc.ca).

“We are so excited right now, this is such a great feeling,” said Stephanie Labbé after posting her second clean sheet of the tournament. “Definitely, we are here to go all the way. After tonight, we are already on to the next task because we know what Germany can bring. There’s a lot on the line: we’re playing for a gold medal.”

The Rio 2016 Quarterfinals was the fourth-straight Canada-France match separated by one or fewer goals, with Canada winning at London 2012 and Rio 2016. The two sides were also separated last year in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 rankings, with France fifth and Canada sixth.

“We showed that Canadian grit again,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “That’s what takes teams through tournaments. Our whole team defensively was very disciplined and then we had our moment of quality as Sophie Schmidt’s goal was outstanding.

“It was just another real team performance. I am just proud of what we are showing as we are off to the medal rounds, but we are not done yet.”

On this night, it was Canada’s destiny after Shelina Zadorsky delivered her pass down field for Janine Beckie. Beckie took a touch both outside and inside the box to outplay Sakina Karchaoui before crossing a pass to the back post for Sophie Schmidt to deftly smash into the net.

From there, Canada stood strong until the final whistle to hold the 1:0 victory and advance to a rematch with Germany. In the group phase, Canada defeated both the Asian champions Australia and the European champions Germany to finish first in their group.

“We are thrilled to knock off a team that I think could be the best team in the world right now,” said Christine Sinclair after the victory. “We have this never-say-die attitude and I think you have seen that throughout the course of this tournament.”

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