Canada drops opener vs Mexico

Soccer Team Canada

Michel Belanger

July 5, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (ISN) – (Team Canada) – Canada’s women’s soccer team opened pool play with a 3-2 loss to Mexico on Friday morning at the 27th Summer Universiade. Mexico scored the winning goal from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining in regulation time after the Canadians had fought back from a 2-0 deficit.

Canadian captain Natalie Boyd of Surrey, B.C. (Trinity Western University) and Winnipeg native Jackie Tessier (Queen’s) scored in the second half, while keeper Kristen Funk of Calgary (Trinity Western) made 14 saves in the loss.

“Kristen Funk has been a top keeper in the CIS for all five of her years,” noted head coach Liz Jepsen from University of Alberta. “She showed that she is upper class today – making instrumental saves, leading from the back, creating play – she gave us the extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to keep things going.”

Following a scoreless opening half Mexico claimed a 2-0 lead by capitalizing on their speed and ball control in the Canadian zone. Strikers Veronica Corral and Sandra Mayor, who were dangerous throughout the match, potted goals at the 46 and 54-minute marks, respectively. Corral also scored the game-winner.

“As we become more finely tuned in our midfield we will take away some of that penetration and those shot opportunities,” said Jepsen. “I was pleased that we did manage to settle down and respond.”

Canada’s response came swiftly, in the form of a penalty kick which Boyd confidently placed in the top left corner of the net at the 57-minute mark.

“In tournaments like these, your chances are few and far between,” said the captain, who also wore the red and white at the 2011 Universiade in Shenzhen, China. “So when you do get a chance and you can capitalize it is a really big momentum shift. I just told [the team] ‘guys, we’re still in it.'”

Team Canada website:

Team Canada Twitter: @CDNUniversiade | #gocanada

Summer Universiade website:

Tessier scored her first Universiade goal on a header in the 65th minute, finishing a pass from Julie Lafreniere of Winnipeg (Manitoba).

Canada (0-1-0) will continue pool play on Sunday with a match against Ireland at 5 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET).

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Mexico