Canada plays Nigeria in its second group stage match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 on Wednesday, 16 November at 19:00 local/03:50 ET/00:50 PT. The match will be broadcast LIVE on TSN1 and TSN5. Canadians will have the opportunity to watch a rebroadcast of the match at 12:00 ET/09:00 PT on TSN1 and 23:30 ET/20:30 PT on TSN5.
Canada will be coming into its second match refocused and prepared for the challenge of the African Champions, having put its opening match loss to Spain behind it.
“We took some hard learnings from our match against Spain, but also some good lessons and ones that are crucial for these young players on their journey to the Women’s National Team,” said Canada Soccer U-20 Coach Daniel Worthington. “We have some young players, like Sarah Stratigakis, Deanne Rose, Emma Regan and Gabby Carle, who have given really strong performances and we’ll be looking to harness that energy and apply some of our learnings against Nigeria on Wednesday.”
A key element of Canada’s Women’s EXCEL pathway is creating opportunities for young players, like Stratigakis, Rose, Regan and Carle, each of who have another U-20 cycle ahead of them, to get tournament experience.
“As a program we want to create more Sinclairs, more often, and to do that we have to take learnings from every game we play,” said Worthington. “We are seeking to create players by design, rather than chance, and a cornerstone of that philosophy is exposing our players to varying styles of play.”
Looking ahead to the next match, Coach Worthington is expecting a difficult challenge, but one that Canada is ready to face.
“Nigeria bring a style of play, a man-marking system, that is much different that what we are used to playing, and they add to that with physicality, pace and power,” said Worthington. “For us this is an important opportunity because our young players need to gain the skills they will learn from playing the African confederation champions as they track towards Canada’s Women’s National Team.”
Papua New Guinea 2016 represents an opportunity for Canada Soccer to build on the progress of recent years, developing the tournament capabilities of young players and solidifying a style of play that has seen Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team earn back-to-back Olympic bronze medals and a sixth place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-23 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.