What’s a major soccer competition without a couple of mind games?

The war of words has been on between Canada and England before they square up in their FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal matchup at BC Place on Saturday.

Before Canada held its pregame news meeting on Friday, England coach Mark Sampson talked with The Guardian daily paper, sketching out his opinion that the host nation was the roughest of all teams in this World Cup, and that officials were giving John Herdman’s side more slack to dole out their miss conduct.

“Without a shadow of a doubt we’re playing the most aggressive team in this tournament,” Sampson is cited by The Guardian. “Whether they’re overly aggressive is open to interpretation. We’re all aware of the big refereeing decisions that have gone their way.  They’ve been given an extremely questionable penalty [in the opening game against China] and we can look at the fouls that have been awarded against them.

“We’ve got a qualified ref on our staff and, glancing back at the games, he says at any rate fourfold the quantity of fouls they’ve really been punished for could have been honored against them. I trust the match arbitrator understands there’s 22 players and two teams on the pitch.”

There’s not much nuance in the approach from Sampson—this is an unmistakable endeavor to get the officials for Saturday’s game second-guessing any call in favour of the hosts.

Yet, what was fascinating was Herdman’s reaction to Sampson’s remarks. As opposed to ignoring the comments or specifically highlighting what his counterpart was attempting to do, Herdman generally concurred with the remarks, proposing England would be in for a physical experience.

“We’re simply anticipating get out there and giving England hellfire,” Herdman said. “That is what we’re coating up to do. It will be a forceful, physical game. There’s one group there that needs to keep us from getting to the following round, and there’s another group, that is the thing that they’ve been longing for the last three, four years, and perhaps all their life.

“We’ll be going out there as physical as we can and simply doing what Canadians do, seeing that Canadian coarseness… . we’ll be the commonplace Canadian team we’ve seen throughout the most recent couple of years. We know Canada is known for its coarseness and its forceful DNA.”

Herdman likewise tended to some feedback in the media about his side’s reasonable if unspectacular way to deal with the game.

While his team stays undefeated, it has scored only three goals in four matches, and has looked generally unsurprising in attack, regardless of its steadfast protecting and the now and again gallant showcases of goalkeeper Erin McLeod in net.

“People are going to have an opinion, and they’re entitled to it,” Herdman expressed. “Individuals are qualified for them, yet I’ll let you now, the individuals in the city, the individuals who turn up into them stadiums, the 55,000, they’re completely behind this team and they have been from the start.”

Saturday’s challenge guarantees to be a tight one. Britain, No. 6 on the planet, plays the same kind of utilitarian, organized game that world No. 8 Canada has embraced under Herdman.

The home side has progressed to this stage with a 1-0 win over the Swiss, while England fit the bill for the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Norway. The two sides know one another well, and have played one another twice this year effectively, every side asserting a triumph off the other.

Defender Rhian Wilkinson, who made her first start of the competition last match and helped set up the winning goal, recommended those games are to a great extent unessential at this point.

“Personally, the games that we’ve played leading up to the World Cup haven’t meant that much,” Wilkinson said. “When you’re here, as you’ve seen from all the outcomes that have been occurring, anything can happen and teams are forgetting it all on the field, and diverse circumstances are happening. This England that we’ll face is not even the England… that we played in May.

“The team will have changed, the things they were concealing possibly that game will conceivably turn out. It’s an alternate group. I think we know one another, however in the meantime, we’re expecting a great deal of new stuff from them, and they ought to expect the same from us.”

The winner of this match will meet the side that rises triumphant in the Saturday’s prior quarterfinal between Japan and Australia in Edmonton.

By Alain Montes

Alain Montes is from Montreal Canada he went to UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). He is our Editor for vegascoverage.com

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