The Canadian Women’s National Team continued their preparations for the Women’s World Cup, which is rapidly approaching, being held in Australia and New Zealand that will begin at the end of July of next year. A trip to Brazil for a pair of games started nicely for Les Rouges, who bested Brazil by a scoreline of 2-1.
Brazil, who is ranked ninth in world women’s football, was a big test for the Canadians, who came into the window ranked two places better at seventh. In front of 3,768 fans, the Canadians took control of the game early, setting the pace. In what is ultimately a pretty meaningless game for everything outside of FIFA ranking points, Les Rouges were playing with a purpose, attacking the goal, before things burst open.
That first big chance didn’t take long to come. In the 21st minute, a beautifully placed back post crossing pass from Ashley Lawrence found the head of Shelina Zadorsky, who popped the ball up into the air, perfectly out of reach of the Brazilian keeper, giving Canada an early 1-0 lead. That was only the start for Zadorsky, who was all over the pitch all afternoon long, turning in a solid performance.
Just eight minutes later, Canada would get another chance off a set piece. Surefire Canadian Sports Hall of Fame forward Christine Sinclair headed a corner kick into space, where Adriana Leon connected on a shot from the top of the box, cleanly beating the keeper at the bottom right corner. With under 30 minutes played, Canada was in full control of the game, leading by two goals, and showing little in the way of mercy.
The Brazilian break did come, however. You can’t keep good teams off the board every time, and it gave the Canadians a reminder that this game wasn’t yet done. In the 33rd minute, Brazil took advantage of a giveaway in the middle of the field, and quickly broke toward the Canadian goal. A chipped pass over the head of the Canadian defender sent Debora Oliveira in all alone, and she buried the ball past Kailen Sheridan, despite appeals for a handball that with VAR, just may have been given,
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
The remainder of the game saw nothing in the way of goals for either team, but the Canadians continued to press. Kadeisha Buchanan and Jessie Fleming were both assessed yellow cards toward the end of the game, but that was all for the action. The win is a statement to the rest of the women’s footballing world, that although Canada has already taken home the Olympic gold, that isn’t enough. They want the World Cup next summer.
The Brazilians offer a difficult test, and Canada showed some of their ability to keep ahead while the rest of the world catches up. That is critical, possibly now more than ever, and it becomes evident when watching the American women struggle in games they would have easily won five to 10 years ago.
There is still plenty of work to do before Canada kicks off the World Cup next summer, where they will take on host Australia, Nigeria, and Ireland. That work continues when they take on Brazil for the second time in a week, next Tuesday afternoon at 1:15 pm ET.
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