GWANGJU, South Korea (Team Canada) – Facing a strong, technical, Japanese squad the Canadian women’s soccer team was defeated by a score of 5-0 in the bronze medal match of the 2015 Summer Universiade, Sunday in Gwangju.
Canada (4-2-0) still gets its best-ever result at the Universiade with a fourth place. It finished fifth on three occasions, in 1993 in Buffalo, in 2005 in Izmir, Turkey, and in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.
“I am obviously disappointed with the result,” said head coach Peyvand Mossavat. “The score shows 5-0, but it doesn’t reflect the game. We had a number of chances, but couldn’t capitalize on them.”
“What we need to do is to put more effort in preparing a team for this tournament,” he continued. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the kids but we don’t take it seriously. With a little bit more preparation we could have gotten to the final and maybe won this thing.”
“I am proud of the girls. They are still the best Canadian team that has ever performed in this competition.”
Japan struck fast and hard. At the 22nd minute, Ai Yokoyama redirected a cross off her head into the Canadian goal, and it was already 1-0. Then in the 30th, the powerful strike of Nao Kawahara left no chance to goalkeeper Marie-Joëlle Vandal (Longueuil, Que.). Less than four minutes later, Marin Hamamoto’s shot floated over Vandal’s head before ending up in the net. It was then 3-0.
Heather Lund (Red Deer, Alta.) came close to getting one back for Canada at the 38th. The Canadian captain took advantage of Marie-Ève Jacques’ well-timed cross, but her shot narrowly missed to the right of the goal. At halftime, the Japanese were still in control.
Lund then escaped in the 57th minute and found herself alone with the keeper, but she was unable to take the shot. Joëlle Gosselin (Quebec City, Que.) then drew a free kick from thirty meters, but the ball just missed the top right corner by a few centimeters.
Canada had another chance on a penalty at the 67th after a hand touch was called against Japan. The shot from Annalise Schellenberg (Edmonton, Alta.) hit the crossbar, and the unlucky streak continued.
Japan added two more in the 69th and 84th minutes to make it 5-0, the final score.