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Canada - Emerging force

Canada come to the World Cup with an approach based on physical strength and speedy counter-attack sorties, and although though perhaps lacking the out-and-out power of rivals like the USA, Canada are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the CONCACAF region.

In qualification, via the 2006 Women's Gold Cup, a tournament which the Canucks hosted, the Canadians reached the final thanks to a spectacular 4-0 semi-final win over Jamaica.

The final was a tense affair. Canada went behind early in the first half but drew level on the stroke of half-time. There were no goals in the second-half and the match went into extra-time, where in the dying seconds the referee awarded USA a penalty, which put the US through to claims supremacy in the CONCACAF region.

Despite that bruising affair, Canada earned fame and showed the world what to expect in China.

Head coach Even Pellerud is the advocate of direct football and is devoted to physical fitness and raw power. The players on the squad list include ace striker and team captain Christine Sinclair who has scored 58 goals in 82 games for her country, maintaining her reputation as one of the best goal-getters in North America.

So far, the Canadians have achieved their goal by qualifying for the tournament. But now that goal has come and gone will their next World Cup ambition turn out to be just as successful?