Canada to face England in women's soccer friendly in April as part of Olympic prep

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Canada will play England in a women's soccer friendly on April 13 as part of its preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Canada Soccer called it an away match but said location will be announced at a later date. The game falls during the April FIFA international window.

England is ranked sixth in the world while the Canadians are tied for No. 8 with Brazil.

The match will be a reunion of sorts.

Bev Priestman, an English native who took over the Canadian team in November, left Canada Soccer in August 2018 to become an assistant coach with England under Phil Neville.

Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson, meanwhile, left her job as Canadian youth coach and senior assistant coach last month to become an assistant coach job with the English women.

Canada is 6-7-0 all-time against England. The Canadians won the last meeting between the two, in April 2019 in Manchester, England, on the strength of a Christine Sinclair goal in the 80th minute.

That 1-0 win avenged a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to the Lionesses in Vancouver at the 2015 World Cup.

Canada has won two of their last three meetings but lost four straight to the English prior to that. The teams first met in June 1995 in Helsingborg, Sweden, in the World Cup debut for both. England won 3-2.

The Canadian women return to action later this month at the four-country SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. Canada opens Feb. 18 against the top-ranked U.S before facing No. 31 Argentina on Feb. 21 and No. 8 Brazil on Feb. 24.

Canada last played March 10, 2020, when it tied Brazil 2-2 at an international tournament in France.

A growing number of Canadians now play in the FA Women's Super League in England. They include Janine Beckie (Manchester City), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), Rylee Foster (Liverpool), Adriana Leon (West Ham) and Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham).

The Canadian women won bronze at the last two Olympics. England will be part of a Great Britain entry in the Olympic soccer tournament slated to run July 21 to Aug. 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press