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Olympic champions Canada announce friendly against Nigeria

11:08 GMT 17/03/2022
Canada Women's Team Olympics
Bev Priestman’s team will take on the Super Falcons, the first meeting between the two nations since 2019

Canadian Soccer Association has announced the Canada women’s national team will host Nigeria in a two-legged friendly in April.

The first game will be held on April 8 at BC Place in Vancouver, while the second encounter will be held three days later at Langford’s Starlight Stadium on Vancouver Island.

“We look forward to reconnecting with our Canadian fans on the west coast for these two home matches,” said coach Bev Priestman as per the Canada football website.

“These two matches against Nigeria in Vancouver and Langford will also provide us with great experiences as we continue to prepare for this summer’s qualifiers to both the Fifa World Cup and Olympic Games.”

The first fixture is an opportunity to celebrate Christine Sinclair’s world international goalscoring record in front of her compatriots.

Sinclair set the all-time international scoring record with her 185th strike in an Olympic qualifying match against St. Kitts and Nevis in January 2020, as the North America, Central America and the Caribbean side secured an 11-0 triumph.

The celebration was initially billed for April 2020, albeit, it was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 that crippled football-related activities.

After that feat, the 38-year-old led Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August 2021.

In addition, both games will also mark a farewell to Stephanie Labbe who will draw the curtain on her illustrious football career.

The goalkeeper - who has already played her last club matches for Paris Saint-Germain -  finished second in voting for The Best Fifa Women’s Goalkeeper in 2020-21. 

For reigning African champions Nigeria, the matches will help them prepare adequately for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations billed for Morocco in July. 

Nigeria and Canada met in the build-up to the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup in Spain. There the Africans bowed 2-1 at Pinatar Arena, with Janine Beckie and Sophie Schmidt getting the goals for the Canadians, while Desire Oparanozie got Nigeria’s lone goal. 

Prior to that fixture, they met at the 2011 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Germany. There Nigeria triumphed 1-0 at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, Dresden courtesy of Perpetua Nkwocha’s 73rd-minute effort.

Even at that, Ngozi Eucharia Uche’s side kissed the tournament goodbye after the group stage.