2021 Tokyo Olympics: Canada defeats Korea in a must-win game

Natalie Achonwa of Team Canada

The Canadians got back on track in the win column on Thursday morning against Korea. They won in a must-win game situation and now put themselves in a better position to advance to the knockout quarterfinals stage.


Canada came into this game and was ready to play from the first quarter. They jumped out to an early lead before Korea came back and led by one, 16-15 after the first quarter. It was much of the same story in the second quarter, although both Natalie Achonwa and Kayla Alexander picked up the scoring and Canada increased their lead by five, 33-28 at the half. In the third quarter, Canada increased their lead by 11 points at one point behind Achonwa, Shay Colley and Alexander. They led by ten after the third quarter, 49-39. In the fourth quarter, Canada took over and Korea could not hang with the Canadians and they were able to hang on and win comfortably by a final score of 74-53. Canada won their must-win game and they delivered a great performance.

Kim Gaucher looks on as Canada faced Korea in their second game of the tournament. Photo courtesy of FIBA


  • Canada played much better today. Looked more smoother, they attacked the basket, grabbed so many rebounds and looked poised to win.
  • Kim Gaucher played her first minutes in the game after not playing at all in the previous game against Serbia.
  • Kayla Alexander was one of the key contributors alongside Natalie Achonwa who were both pivotal in the paint against Ji-Su Park and both helped Canada in terms of scoring inside as well as some key defensive plays.
  • Canada shot 39% overall but shot 41% from the field. They continued to struggle from three, shooting just 29%, but the three was not needed as much today.
  • They also shot better from the free throw line and Bridget Carleton was perfect from the line.
  • Coach Lisa Thomaidis had a hockey line substitution for this game. She would bring players in for five minutes, or four minutes at a time. Seems she wanted to keep her players fresh and ready.
  • Natalie Achonwa looked very good today which bodes well for the Canadians moving forward because she’s one of Team Canada’s veterans who can give Canada a boost.
  • Ji-Su Park is a great player. It’s weird to see her as the third option on Las Vegas Aces, but she’s great. Was a key cog defensively and made it difficult for the players to score at times.


Canada faces Spain in their final game in group play on Sunday morning in Tokyo, which is Saturday evening here in North America. Game is scheduled for 9:00 pm EST. The game will be on CBC stream and either on CBC, TSN or Sportsnet. For America, the game will be on the NBC site stream.


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