Canada vs. France: 3 Reasons to Watch Women's Soccer's Bronze-Medal Match

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Christine Sinclair of Canada is challenged by Rachel Buehler (R) of USA during the Women's Football Semi Final match between Canada and USA on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford on August 6, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Canada versus France won't be the first soccer match on everyone's mind Thursday, August 9, but it's still worth watching for a number of reasons.

France lost 2-1 against defending World Cup champion Japan in the second women's semifinal. They nearly overcame a two-goal deficit in the second half, but they couldn't capitalize on a penalty kick in the game's waning minutes.

The Canadian side lost a heartbreaker as well. They hung in against Team USA, but the American side came out on top 4-3. All-world talent Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick, but it wasn't enough to hold off Alex Morgan and the American attack in the end.

They may not be playing in a gold-medal match, but these are two talented teams. Let's take a look at why you should tune in.

*Check for your local TV listing.



The last time these two teams met, France thumped Canada in the 2011 Women's World Cup. The 4-0 defeat will be in the front of Canada's mind, and France will try to prove this wasn't a fluke.

This loss played a major hand in Canada's first-round departure in Germany last year. They were shut out, humiliated and limped their way into the next match against the host country. Sinclair couldn't get free from France's defense, and her supporting cast was equally nonexistent in the losing effort.

Don't expect Sinclair and her teammates to take this lightly.

Canada hasn't enjoyed tremendous success on an international stage, but every team has pride. They will be on a mission in Thursday's bronze-medal match.

Last match was lopsided, but expect this one to be closer.



I've already mentioned her name three times. She's that important to the Canadian attack, and she's a reason to watch all by herself.

She's entering the upper echelon of women's soccer. It's the same place Team USA's Abby Wambach has enshrined herself. The Canadian sensation has 143 goals in 189 career appearances, and she's only 29 years old.

We've already seen Sinclair's unparalleled talent in Canada's losing effort against their southern counterparts. Everyone on the field knows where the attack will be focused, and still finds a way to rip through the defense.

She's that good, and you can't miss her. Even if Canada doesn't win this game you can bet Sinclair will have a few "wow" moments.


First Medal

Past history and talented players are fine, but how about the historical ramifications of this third-place tilt.

France and Canada's women's soccer have been blanked on the Olympic stage, according to One of these two countries will have a chance to change that, and there's no bigger motivation than that.

They may not be fighting for the top spot in London, but third place isn't anything to be ashamed of. Considering their lack of success in the past, it would mean everything to these players, coaches and their devoted fans.

Watching the women's gold-medal match is a given, but don't overlook Thursday's appetizer. Kick back, flip on the tube and watch two teams fight for uncharted territory.