Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 15, 2016 – Guaranteed top spot in Pool A of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with one match to go, Italy will be satisfied with their time in Rio so far. But Canada will be champing at the bit for victory, which could launch them into the quarterfinals.
The men from the great white north have a 2-2 win-loss record after beginning their campaign with a stunning victory over neighbours USA. Despite losses to Brazil and France they got their tournament back on track with a win against Mexico on Saturday and will be hoping to carry on that forward momentum against Italy.
It is all about momentum for Italy also. Fresh from silencing the home crowd with a four-set triumph over Brazil, the side will be looking to continue their upward trajectory by making it five from five in the pool stages against Canada.
The pair met during last year’s World Cup, with the Italians claiming a 3-1 win in Hiroshima but before then hadn’t met at a major tournament since 2003. If Canada were to win it would be their first victory over their European rivals ever, having lost all 15 previous encounters.