Magic runs ends after two late goals by Sweden in semi-final heart breaker.
Canada made its mark on the international scene by reaching the semi-final stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003. After escaping the group stage, a young Canadian squad shocked the defending silver medal winners from four years earlier with a 1:0 quarter-final win. The win over China PR vaulted Canada to a fourth-place finish, although heart-breaking losses to Sweden and USA followed in the last two matches of the tournament.
After a loss to eventual-champion Germany, Canada capped off the group phase with wins over Argentina and Japan. In the knock-out quarter final, Canada won 1:0 on the strength of a Charmaine Hooper goal, assited by Diana Matheson on the counter attack. Remembered Matheson many years later, “our defence was amazing. I remember seeing the clock at 70 minutes and just knowing that they weren’t going to score for the rest of the game. It was just one of those games where we were just not going to let them score.”
In the semi-final against Sweden, Canada was up 1-0, but conceded two goals in the last 12 minutes to fall 1:2. Then in the match for third place against USA, Canada equalised 1-1 late in the first half, but conceded two goals in the second half of a 1:3 loss.
Still, Canada’s fourth-place finish remains Canada’s highest finish at a FIFA women’s “A” event. Canadian captain Charmaine Hooper, who played in the back, was a tournament All-Star. Christine Sinclair was Canada’s top scorer with three goals while Taryn Swiatek posted two clean sheets in five matches.
The Canadian Soccer Association celebrates its 100th anniversary throughout the 2012 calendar year. While soccer (football) has been played in Canada since 1876, the Canadian Soccer Association (or the Dominion of Canada Football Association as it was known in the day) was inaugurated on 24 May 1912. As part of the centennial celebrations, the Canadian Soccer Association will unveil the “Top-10 Moments” in Canadian soccer history as well as engage soccer fans to select the “All-Time Canada XI” teams for men’s and women’s football. The celebrations will culminate with Canada’s two Centennial Matches – a Women’s International Friendly on 30 May in Moncton and a Men’s International Friendly match on 3 June in Toronto.
Tickets to Canada’s 3 June Centennial home match – as well three FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in June, September and October – are available via Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.ca / 1.855.570.7500) with full details at CanadaSoccer.com/seetheerise. Also to celebrate Canada’s 100th anniversary, Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams will wear a special blue Centennial Kit tailored by Umbro. The kit will be worn exclusively by the men on 3 June and by the women for a second Centennial match on 30 June at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, USA. Limited quantities of Canada’s Centennial clothing line – including jersey, anthem jacket and cap – are available exclusively at CanadaSoccer.com.
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.