GRENOBLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: Jessie Fleming of Canada celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's first goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group E match between Canada and New Zealand at Stade des Alpes on June 15, 2019 in Grenoble, France. (Photo by Naomi Baker - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team are into the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 after earning their second Group E victory 2:0 over New Zealand on 15 June from Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, FR. Canada will look to secure top spot in Group E in their final Group Stage match on 20 June against Netherlands in Reims, FR.

Jessie Fleming and Nichelle Prince scored for Canada with Stephanie Labbe earning her second consecutive shutout in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

“We performed very well and I am very happy about this team performance,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We know they can do even better. They are stepping up, they are stepping in, but there is more to this team than we showed tonight.”

After winning the ball back in the defending third, Janine Beckie played a ball over the top to Nichelle Prince who got onto the end of it and took it near the goal line. Prince pulled the ball back to inside the six-yard box to a waiting Fleming who buried the shot behind New Zealand GK Erin Nayler in the 48’.

“They were a tough opponent. I think defensively they were very tight and difficult to break down,” said Jessie Fleming. “I think once we got the goal we were able to keep a little bit more possession and play how we wanted to, impose ourselves a little bit, but, they were very tough to break down.”

On the second goal, Ashley Lawrence’s cross into the box to a waiting Sinclair went off the post in the 79’. Prince pounced on the rebound to secure the victory and three points for Canada.

Canada dominated possession in the opening half, for a second straight game. With a fluid formation that saw Jayde Riviere and Lawrence push higher up the pitch with Sophie Schmidt joining Kadeisha Buchanan and Shelina Zadorsky at the back, Canada found plenty of time on the ball in wide areas.

Beckie took a strike from wide on target in the early moments that challenged NZ GK Erin Nayler. With a back three, Canada were able to have their centrebacks step into the play for long spells in the first half.  Zadorsky played numerous balls over the top onto the head of Christine Sinclair and Prince but New Zealand were able to stay compact in defence and ward off most quality chances on goal.

For Canada, the victory over New Zealand marked the first time in its FIFA Women’s World Cup™ history that the team has defeated a Confederation Champion.

Undefeated in 10 straight matches, Canada ties its second-longest undefeated streak with the victory.
Canada started Stephanie Labbé in goal, Ashley Lawrence at left back, Kadeisha Buchanan and Shelina Zadorsky at centre back, Jayde Riviere at right back, and Desiree Scott, Sophie Schmidt, Nichelle Prince, Janine Beckie, Jessie Fleming and Captain Christine Sinclair from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller replaced Riviere with Allysha Chapman (75’), Beckie with Rebecca Quinn (83’), and Prince with Adriana Leon (84’).

Canada close out group play against the Netherlands on 20 June in Reims. Beyond the group phase, two or three nations from Canada’s group will advance to the Round of 16 with those initial knock-out matches to be played from 23-25 June. The Quarter-finals will be played 27-29 June and the Semi-finals will be held 2-3 July,leading to the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ on 7 July.