The Australian Women's National Team (AUSWNT) and the Canada Women's National Team (CANWNT) face off against one another in their 2016 Olympics Group F opener on Wednesday, August 3.
Seventeen out of the 18 players on the Australian roster will be making their Olympic debuts. The only exception is captain Lisa De Vanna, who has been to the Olympics in 2004. This isn't shocking, as the Matildas have failed to qualify for the Olympics for the past 3 games.
Australia may surprise fans this year, though they haven't been to the Olympics since 2004 in Athens, Greece. In 2000 the Matildas were eliminated early on, with a 0-1-2 record after the group matches. In 2004 they were eliminated in the quarter finals after falling 1-2 to Sweden.
The Matildas had a strong showing last summer in the Women's World Cup, including a win over Brazil in the Round of 16 before being eliminated by Japan in the quarterfinals. The AUSWNT also surprised many fans with their Olympic qualifying run earlier this year, finishing first in the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.
On the other hand, Canada has a little more experience in the Olympics. They have been to the Olympics the past three games, spanning 12 years, and are the current holders of the bronze medal in soccer. The 2012 games for the Canadians almost did not turn out as well as it did. They lost their first group match against Japan, went on to beat South Africa, and then, by the skin of their teeth they pulled out a draw against Sweden. In their final group match against Britain, still riding the wave of confidence they gained from their draw with Sweden, they brought out a 2-0 win.
Their semi final match against the US ended their dreams of gold, with the US winning 4-3 in one of the most exciting games of the entire Olympic tournament. The loss to the USWNT sent them to the bronze medal match, where they defeated France 1-0.
Wednesday's Olympic group stage match is the first meeting between the two teams since 2008. Australia defeated Canada 2-1 in that international friendly.
The Matildas take on the CANWNT on Wednesday, August 3 at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be aired on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and will be streamed online at nbcolympics.com.
Australia Women's National Team Roster
Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams (Houston Dash/Canberra United), Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory)
Defenders: Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride/Melbourne City), Alanna Kennedy (Western New York Flash/Sydney FC), Stephanie Catley (Orlando Pride/Melbourne City), Ellie Carpenter (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Midfielders: Elise Kellond-Knight (Potsdam Turbine), Emily van Egmond (FFC Frankfurt), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory), Chloe Logarzo (Eskilstuna United/Newcastle Jets)
Coach: Alen Stajcic
Canada Women's National Team Roster
Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbé (Washington Spirit), Sabrina D'Angelo (Western New York Flash)
Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia), Shelina Zadorsky (Washington Spirit), Rebecca Quinn (Duke University), Rhian Wilkinson, Josée Bélanger (Orlando Pride), Ashley Lawrence (West Virgina), Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash)
Midfielders: Deanne Rose (Scarborough GS United), Diana Matheson (Washington Spirit), Desiree Scott (FC Kansas City), Sophie Schmidt (FFC Frankfurt), Jessie Fleming (UCLA)
Forward: Christine Sinclair (C; Portland Thorns FC), Melissa Tancredi (KIF Örebro), Nichelle Prince (Ohio State), Janine Beckie (Houston Dash)
Head Coach: John Herdman