On June 6, Canada and China will come face-to-face in Edmonton to set their plans of world domination in motion.
But don’t expect the clash to be violent.
Rather, the match-up promises to be a true spectacle, as the two nations' high-ranked soccer teams kick off the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
For Team Canada the game against China will mark the beginning of the journey towards the coveted World Cup trophy—a journey that will hopefully culminate a month later in Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium, which will host the tournament’s final match.
“A total of 129 nations competed just to get here and be part of this event, which is the largest women’s sporting event across the world,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination B.C.
Of the 129 nations that vied for qualification, only 24 will make their way to Canada, who is hosting its first-ever women’s World Cup this summer.
Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, and Moncton will be the six host cities of the tournament, which runs from June 6 to July 5.
“This is the first time that this kind of tournament has taken place in Canada. It’s truly coast-to-coast—Vancouver all the way to Moncton, Pacific all the way to Atlantic,” said Rita Rogers, who manages the World Cup's Vancouver venue.
A total of nine games will be played in Vancouver, including the championship final, which has been sold out for over a month.
B.C. Place Stadium will also host two round of 16 games, a quarterfinal match, and five group stage meets.
Those group stage games will see action from defending champions Japan, who will play in Vancouver on at least two occasions, and two-time World Cup champions United States, who face Nigeria on June 16.
According to Rogers, over 40,000 tickets have already been sold for that match.
“We’ve been saying for weeks now that no more tickets are available for the final match, and we are going to be saying that very shortly about that USA-Nigeria match,” Rogers said.
Although Team Canada won’t be playing any of its group stage matches in Vancouver, the city’s soccer fans will have a chance to watch Canada’s first three games at a special “fan zone” that the city will set up in Larwill Park (Georgia & Cambie).
And if things go well for the team, Vancouver fans might get to see the Canadian team come onto the pitch of BC Place Stadium during the tournament’s knockout stages.
This would happen if Canada qualifies for the Round of 16 as the top team in Group A (which it shares with China, New Zealand, and the Netherlands), or if it’s one of the best third-place teams in group play.
And of course, if our dreams come true, we’ll be seeing captain Christine Sinclair raising the trophy at the BC Place Stadium on July 5.
Essential World Cup Information
Group A: Canada, China, New Zealand, and Netherlands;
Group B: Germany, Ivory Coast, Norway, and Thailand;
Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Cameroon, and Ecuador;
Group D: United States, Australia, Sweden, and Nigeria;
Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, and Costa Rica;
Group F: France, England, Colombia, and Mexico.
Vancouver game schedule
All games will be played at B.C. Place Stadium; all times in PST. For full tournament schedule, click here.
Cameroon v Ecuador (Monday June 8, 16:00)
Japan v Switzerland (Monday June 8, 19:00)
Switzerland v Ecuador (Friday June 12, 16:00)
Japan v Cameroon (Friday June 12, 19:00)
Nigeria v USA (Tuesday June 16, 17:00)
Round of 16:
Group A 1st place team v best 3rd from C, D, or E (Sunday June 21, 16:30)
Group C 1st place team v best 3rd from A, B, or F (Tuesday June 23, 19:00)
Winner game 43 v Winner game 44 (Saturday June 27, 16:30)
Winner game 49 v Winner game 50 (Sunday July 5, 16:00)
Team Canada schedule
All times in PST.
Canada v China (Edmonton, 15:00)
Canada v New Zealand (Edmonton, 18:00)
Canada v Netherlands (Montreal, 16:30)
Top ranked teams, according to FIFA rankings
- Korea DPR (Did not qualify for World Cup)