Analysis

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015: Canada in Montreal for critical game vs. Netherlands

The scenario for team Canada coming into the final game of the FIFA Women's World Cup group stage is simple: win the game and they win the group.

More than 40 000 fans expected at Canada's final World Cup group stage game at Montreal's Big O

Team Canada fans cheer prior to the start of FIFA Women's World Cup soccer action in Edmonton, Alta. More than 50,000 fans attended that game. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The scenario for team Canada coming into the final game of the FIFA Women's World Cup group stage is simple: win the game and they win the group.

With four points in the first two games, Canada has control of its own destiny tonight versus the Netherlands.

A win and Canada will advance to the knock-out stage as a first place team. That's the ideal situation.

But despite the fact that Canada is in first place and in control, there are some points of concern including the fact that Canada is having trouble generating goals.

In the two games so far, the team has only netted the ball once — and that came off of a penalty shot. 

The players and coach John Herdman say they're not worried because they're generating scoring chances.

But you have to wonder, if Canada can't generate goals against teams like China and New Zealand (nations which are ranked lower than Canada) what does that say about their chances against top teams in the knock-out stage?

Canada may qualify even without scoring a goal tonight against the Netherlands. 

And while advancing to the next round would technically be "mission accomplished," limping out of the group would not be a good omen moving forward.

CBC sports reporters Doug Gelevan and Andie Bennett set up Canada final group stage game of the World Cup 4:11

Daybreak sports columnist Andie Bennett says Canada's soccer performance so far has a lot in common with the Montreal Canadiens hockey season.

"Yes, they're leading the group but they're not getting the offence... Tonight is the moment against the Netherlands. This is the last opportunity to get things rolling as they head into the knock-out stage."

Attendance record to fall?

Around 40,000 fans are expected at the Olympic Stadium to cheer on Team Canada tonight. That will make for a solid crowd, but would fall short of the number of fans who came to see Canada open the tournament in Edmonton.

More than 50,000 people watched Canada play against China in Edmonton. It set a new attendance record for a Canadian national soccer team game.

The Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani says Canada 2015 is set to break the all time attendance record of 1.2 million spectators at the FIFA Women's World Cup. (CBC)

The Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani says organizers are happy with the turnout across the country.

Canada 2015 is set to break the all time attendance record of 1.2 million spectators, set in the U.S at the 1999 World Cup.

"We're going to break it in the next day or so," Montagliani told Daybreak

CSA president Victor Montagliani discusses World Cup, FIFA corruption and Canada v Netherlands in a 1-on-1 interview with Daybreak sports columnist Andie Bennett 6:07
Dutch fans travelled all the way from University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus to watch the game on Monday night. 0:47

About the Author

Doug Gelevan

CBC Montreal sports reporters Douglas Gelevan.