Canada fall to hosts France

Canada lost its opening match 1-0 at the Tournoi de France in Calais, France to host nation France on a goal from Vivianne Asseyi (55’). Canada will play three matches in seven days at the international tournament that will act as preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.

“I think we have a lot going into the next couple of games and it’s a good start from us and we can take a lot from this and move forward and really come out the team we know we are and the team that came out of the qualifying tournament,” said goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. “We need to make sure for the next game we show up and are really prepared and we possess more.”

Canada will also use Tournoi de France as an opportunity to further assess its player pool as it looks to finalize its 18-player roster for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.  For Canada, the match saw the return of veteran player Diana Matheson who made her first appearance for Canada in the second half after coming back from injury. Matheson last played for Canada in March 2019.

“I think there were a lot of good things. We’re disappointed we didn’t get the result, but, we’ll take a lot out of it for the next game,” Matheson said after the match. “I think we look at why there was as much time on the ball for France in that game and how we can tighten things up and then I think it’s about quality on the ball for the next game. It was nice to get that under the belt and it’s been nice to get back on the field.”

All of Canada’s matches at Tournoi de France will be broadcast LIVE in Canada on Canada’s next match is Saturday 7 March against Netherlands in Calais, France (19.00 local / 13.00 ET / 10.00 PT). Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter featuring the social media hashtag #CANWNT.

On Wednesday, France started pressing early in the match, but Canada’s backline stayed solid defensively. In the 13’, France’s first chance came from a free kick just outside the box, but it was easily headed away by Buchanan.

France had another good opportunity in the 30’ when Amel Majri directed a shot towards net, but Sophie Schmidt mad a great sliding defensive effort to block the shot and sent the ball out for a corner.

Canada’s first real opportunity came three minutes later. Riviere sent a cross from the right side which was headed just over the bar by Captain Christine Sinclair.

Allysha Chapman was fouled by French defender Wendie Renard just outside the box in the 37’. Janine Beckie took the ensuing free kick, but the ball was headed away by France.

After a scoreless first half, France pulled ahead 1:0 on the Vivianne Asseyi goal from a free kick just outside the box which was perfectly placed to get past Canada’s goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan.

Canada’s best chance after France’s goal saw Jessie Fleming look to find Christine Sinclair with a cross in front of the net in the 64’, but, it was just a step too far for Sinclair and the ball was captured by French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.

France continued maintaining pressure on Canada through the final minutes of the game but the backline stayed solid and continued denying France goalscoring opportunities.

Canada’s starting XI featured Kailen Sheridan in goal, Jayde Riviere at right back, Sophie Schmidt, Kadeisha Buchanan and Rebecca Quinn at centre back, Allysha Chapman at left back, and Desiree Scott, Ashley Lawrence, Janine Beckie, Jordyn Huitema, and Christine Sinclair from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller replaced Chapman with Jessie Fleming (46’), Huitema with Nichelle Prince (70’), Rivere with Gabrielle Carle, Scott with Julia Grosso and Beckie with Diana Matheson (83’).