Team GB are hoping to win Group E in the final group match at the Tokyo Olympics as they face the Canadian women in Kashima.
Hege Riise’s team have won both games and qualified for the knockout round, but the work is far from over.
Great Britain only needs one point against Canada to come through as group winners. However, should they lose, Canada will take first place and Britain will take second place.
However, Canada could slip to third place if they lose and Japan beat Chile with a superior goal difference – there is still a lot at stake in Group E.
Tokyo 2020 – Women’s Football, Group E.
Both sides also have Olympic history. Canada won the quarter-finals in London 2-0 in 2012 and beat Great Britain in the home games of the Olympic Games. They won bronze that year and repeated the feat at the following games in Rio.
Of course, the English players will also remember the 2-0 Test defeat in April when Canada beat Wales 3-0 in a friendly that same month. They are likely to be Britain’s toughest test of the Olympic group stage.
Riise: We want to try to dominate
Great Britain have kept clean sheets in both games and scored three goals. And although Riise is proud of the defensive, she also wants an offensive performance on Tuesday.
“We feel like we have a great chance now of winning the group, winning the game tomorrow and we all want that. That’s the main focus now,” she said.
“The first thought on our mind is to attack. We want to score goals, we want to win, but this team is so proud of the defensive organization … so there is a balance between the two. or.
British team news
Team GB could make changes for Tuesday’s game, although Riise said Monday they didn’t need to be confirmed. Fran Kirby was acquitted after missing the first two games and is back in training.
“We are proud of our defense and how we defend. Defense starts from above and when we win against Japan it shows that you are strong defensively, you only need one goal. But we are also proud of the way we attack and how we try to finish the game too.
“For tomorrow we want to go out and try to dominate.
“These are two teams who know each other pretty well, it’s no secret. We’re going to go into this game and look for Canada’s weakness and our strength. I think Canada will do the same.”
Bronze: If we have to, we’ll go 1-0 to the final!
Lucy Bronze has started in both Team GB games and prepared all three goals for Ellen White. She has the gold medal in her eye and will take a number of similar results to get there.
I think we are all happy with how the tournament has gone so far. We could have scored more goals, but I think that without conceding we have six out of six points to the quarter-finals and I personally got a few assists, so that’s nice … a little bit for the team. I’m not here to win individual awards, just this gold medal.
“If you don’t concede goals, you can’t lose games. Japan had a couple of shots but they came from afar. I think that was an area we picked up when we played New Zealand before the tournament. We knew we could reinforce that with defensive transitions.
“It shows that we have worked on it and it comes up trumps. It is something that we will carry on throughout the tournament, keep the goals we conceded and everything we need to get Ellen White at the end of the day.”
“If we have to, we’ll go 1-0 to the final. I don’t care how we do it.”
Scott: Taking part in the Olympics gives you goose bumps
Jill Scott is one of four players to have played for Team GB in London in 2012 and Tokyo, and the excitement for the Olympics is still there nine years later.
“It’s a perfect start in terms of results. The performances have been really good too, so the squad is really good,” she said.
“Sometimes we’re in the hotel together, so it’s important to have team morale. It’s very high and we talk. It’s been a very pleasant trip so far.”
Results so far from Canada and the UK …
Japan 1-1 Canada
Chile 1-2 Canada
Great Britain 2-0 Chile
Japan 0-1 Great Britain
“There are similarities [to 2012] In terms of the first two wins, hopefully there will be more similarity by the end of the third when we have the three wins. It is important to get the dots on the board.
“We just have to keep pushing. It’s hard to talk about similarities because it’s been nine years now and when people ask if they compare squads and stuff like that, I don’t really like doing that because the game was in” back then a completely different place.
“But what a position. The girls really enjoy it and we are very honored to be out here representing Team GB. Thinking that you are playing your little part in the Olympics gives you goose bumps.”
A familiar face in the shelters …
One look at the Canadian dugout and the English fans will recognize their head coach – former Lionesses assistant coach Bev Priestman.
The 35-year-old is also known in Canadian women’s football. Before returning to the UK to join Phil Neville’s coaching staff, she was an assistant to John Herdman and helped Canada win a second consecutive bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics.
With England, she was involved in helping the Lionesses reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2019 before leaving as coach and program director for Canada in October 2020.
Britain also has its own Canadian secret weapon. Rhian Wilkinson supports Riise as she does for England and registered 181 caps for Canada.
She was part of the squad that won bronze in London in 2012 and has previously worked as a coach with players from the Canda squad.
Riise said of Wilkinson: “Of course she has insight into the team, but also individually with the players. She is preparing for the best result for us tomorrow and is very much appreciated here in Team GB as a person “and as a trainer.”
Who could GB face in the quarter-finals?
Should Great Britain secure the top spot, they will meet third-placed from groups F or G. In the last group games, that would be China or Australia.
But you could also meet the USA, which even though they equalize three points with Australia in Group G, are only marginally in the lead.
With a second place, Great Britain would come up to second place in Group F. Brazil currently occupy this place, but only because of the goal difference, with the Netherlands in first place and both with four points.