Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team defeated Sweden 0:0 (6:5) on penalty kicks to earn seven points and third place at the 2019 Algarve Cup. Canada earlier […]
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team defeated Sweden 0:0 (6:5) on penalty kicks to earn seven points and third place at the 2019 Algarve Cup. Canada earlier drew with Iceland 0:0 in its opening match and beat Scotland 1:0 in its second contest.
Canada came out strong in the first half against Sweden with waves of possession and build up play. While the scoring chances were limited Canada’s defense was up to the task on Sweden’s break with Kadeisha Buchanan making multiple key tackles including a brilliantly timed tackle inside Canada’s 18-yard-box. Canada’s best chance came in first half injury time after Christine Sinclair played Jessie Fleming in after a Janine Beckie throw. Fleming played the ball back to Ashley Lawrence who buried the pass, however, the ball through to Fleming was offside and the teams went into the locker room 0:0.
In the second half, both teams had strong scoring chances in the opening minutes with Sweden hitting the cross bar and going just over the net. Janine Beckie also landed a cross on top of the Sweden net narrowly missing a goal before coming close to scoring again on a long run that was saved.
The second half ended in a 0:0 draw with penalty kicks deciding the Bronze Medal.
Canada won the toss and elected to kick second. After Sweden scored the first kick, Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller sent Sophie Schmidt to take Canada’s first. Schmidt put the ball into the right side of the net. In alternating format, Christine Sinclair stepped up next and had her penalty saved. Sweden put their shot off the left post before Deanne Rose put her shot into the right side out of reach. Ashley Lawrence stepped up and put the ball into the left side for Canada’s third.Stephanie Labbé saved Sweden’s fourth shot after which Sweden were able to score on their fifth. Janine Beckie stepped up to extend the shoot out and coolly put it under the Swedeish goalkeeper. On the sixth shot, Kadeisha Buchanan put it in the left side. Sweden scored on their sixth shot to extend kicks before Their next shot was tipped wide left by GK Stephanie Labbé. Jessie Fleming stepped up and buried the goal to earn Bronze for Canada.
“I think there’s a lot of positives to take out of this tournament,” said Kenneth Heiner-Moller, Women’s National Team Head Coach. “Today, it’s the fourth clean sheet in a row. We saw everyone in action, all 23 players, that explains a lot about our depth. This match was awesome, playing against Sweden who is a top team and the amount of pressure we put on them defensively and offensively is pretty amazing. If we can play like this for the entire tournament, it’s looking good, but we need to do better to find the back of the net and we will be working on that as we prepare to face England in April.”
“It was a super solid performance coming out against one of the top teams we knew we had to come out and battle,” said Stephanie Labbé. “We not only played solid defensively but offensively we really took it to them. The one-v-one capabilities of this team is absolutely incredible. Jessie Fleming was owning the midfield and it was so fun to see players step outside of their comfort zones and live their identities. It was a new format for us so, working through the kinks of that, for me it’s just taking every shot on its own and I was really happy to come out with the first save to keep it tight. To make that last save felt good that I was able to do that for the team.”
Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s starting XI featured Stephanie Labbé in goal, Kadeisha Buchanan, Shelina Zadorsky, Allysha Chapman, and Ashely Lawrence in defense, Jessie Fleming, Sophie Schmidt, Desiree Scott, in midfield, and Captain Christine Sinclair, Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie in attack. Heiner-Moller replaced Chapman with Lindsay Agnew, Scott with Julia Grosso and Prince with Deanne Rose (71’).
The win over Sweden brings Canada’s record to 6W-13L-3D over 22 matches against the Swedes. Canada has won the three of the past seven matches, lost one and drawn two.
2019 marked Canada’s eighth appearance at the Algarve Cup and its fourth time in the top four teams of the tournament having also placed fourth in 2001, second in 2017 and Champions in 2016.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team will face England on 5 April in Manchester as the team prepares for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. Additional matches ahead of France 2019 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Canada will kick off the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 on Monday 10 June when they face Cameroon at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France. Canada will then travel to Grenoble for their second group stage match on Saturday 15 June against New Zealand at Stade des alpes. Canada then conclude the group phase in Reims on Thursday 20 June with a match against Netherlands at Stade August-Velaune.
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