Diana Matheson

France v Canada international friendly on 23 July to be broadcast live by CBC Sports

CBC Sports to broadcast Canada Soccer’s final pre-Olympic International Friendly against France

Canada Soccer’s final Road to Rio Women’s International Friendly match against France will be broadcast LIVE via CBC Sports on CBC, Canada’s Olympic Network, on July 23rd at 15.00 ET / 12.00 PT with pre-match programming beginning fifteen minutes earlier.

The match will also be available via live-streaming at cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. Radio-Canada will also provide French-language coverage via live-streaming at ici.radio-canada.ca.

Canada will take on Les Bleues at Le stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps in Auxerre, France, in a re-match of the London 2012 Bronze medal match that saw Canada’s Women’s National Team reach the Olympic podium for the first time. The match, in addition to a Wednesday match each against China PR, will give both teams a critical test to gauge progress and fine-tune tactics ahead of the group stage at the Rio 2016 games.

“France is a genuine gold medal contender and they’ll test our players tactically, mentally and physically,” said Canada’s Women’s National Team Head Coach John Herdman. “It’s the type of test we need at this stage in our Olympic preparation, particularly for the young players as they’ve had little experience playing against the calibre of this French team. We’re going into this match, and the Olympics, as underdogs which suits our team and the players seem to respond well to that challenge, so we’ll push hard to get the result.”

Canada and France have a rivalry dating back many years, but it is the bronze medal match in Coventry Stadium at the London 2012 Olympic Games that remains the most memorable, when Diana Matheson’s last-minute goal secured Canada its first team medal at the summer Olympics since 1936.

“Every time we go up against France it is a great test for us,” said Matheson who will attend her third Olympics. “They are one of the best teams in the world and one of the favourites going into this Olympics, so it is going to be a big benchmark for us going into Rio. We’re prepping for these two matches like they are the Olympic Games: they are two days apart and we’re going to be a little fatigued going into the France match, so it will be a realistic test. We’re going to get an Olympic-quality match, in front of their fans, but we know we have the support of Canada back home.”

Canada Soccer’s Road to Rio 2016 has seen Canada host two home matches against Olympic hosts Brazil in Toronto and Ottawa. With this final international match against France, Canadians will get one last look at the team before it faces Australia August 3rd in the opening match of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.

“We’re excited Canadians will have this opportunity to see our women play one final time before the Olympics begin,” said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of Canada Soccer. “Canadians came out in record numbers for our home matches against Brazil and once again showed the world that Canada is a true soccer nation. We’re confident Canadians will be take advantage of this opportunity to watch Saturday’s bronze medal re-match on CBC Sports.”

“This match offers a tremendous opportunity for our viewers to see the Women’s National Team in action against a world-class opponent before they head to Rio next month,” said Greg Stremlaw, executive director, CBC Sports, and general manager and chef de mission for CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of Rio 2016. “Canada’s next match will open CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 3, so Saturday’s broadcast will serve as a great preview of things to come.”

Scott Russell will host CBC Sports’ coverage of the match as part of the network’s Road To The Olympic Games broadcast on Saturday, with pre-match coverage beginning at 14.45 ET / 11.45 PT. Veteran play-by-play commentator Nigel Reed will be joined in the booth by analyst, Dr. Clare Rustad, an Olympian and former member of Canada’s Women’s National Team. Fellow Olympian and former National Team goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc will join Russell as a special studio analyst, providing additional insight and analysis pre-match, during halftime and following the match. Radio-Canada’s French-language coverage will feature Claudine Douville and Jean Gounelle providing play-by-play and analysis.

CBC’s coverage of the Women’s National Team continues next month at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 3 when Canada takes on Australia at 14.00 ET / 11.00 PT, with pre-match coverage beginning at 13.30 ET / 10.30 PT. Schedules, news, and more features regarding CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of Rio 2016 is available at cbc.ca/olympics.

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