(Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper)

Canada have wrapped up their first competition of the 2021 international season with a win and two losses at the SheBelieves Cup following a 0:2 loss to Brazil. The four-nation tournament has opened Canada’s preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

With several players unavailable through injury or not released by their professional clubs, Canada featured 21 different players across the three international matches, including debuts by Evelyne Viens (against USA), Samantha Chang, Jordyn Listro and Jade Rose (against Argentina).

Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper)
Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper)

“We had a great chance to assess the group and some players really stepped up across the three matches,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “It’s now about getting that chemistry right and putting the ball in the back of the net. It will be important in April to have the whole squad available so that we can work on that chemistry leading into the Olympic Games.”

Canada’s next international test will be Monday 13 April 2021 against England. The Canada match will be broadcast live on OneSoccer. Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CANWNT.

Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper
Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper

In the Wednesday 24 February international match at the SheBelieves Cup, Brazil scored their two goals in the 15th and 39th minutes. On the first goal, Debinha jumped on a rebound from inside the six-yard box after an Adriana shot hit the post and came out. On the second goal, a series of Canada failed clearances spilled to an alone Júlia on the right who fired her shot into the Canada goal.

Canada’s best chance came in the 42nd minute after Deanne Rose pressed an out-of-position goalkeeper Bárbara into a turnover. With Bárbara rushing to get back into goal, Nichelle Prince fired a long shot towards goal, but the shot was wide of the target.

A few minutes later, Stephanie Labbé made the save of the game with an excellent right hand stop on an Adriana shot. Labbé’s tipped the shot off the crossbar and followed up to help Gabrielle Carle clear the ball from danger.

Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper
Credit Canada Soccer / Jeremy Reper

In the second half, both sides made several changes and Canada continued to press on goal, but they were unable to cut the Brazil lead.

In the 71st minute, a lovely give and go between Beckie and Lindsay Agnew led to a pass across goal that Adriana Leon just missed to redirect on the far side. A couple of minutes later, a lovely Leon run down the left side and shot from inside the box hit Evelyne Viens’ face and nearly beat the goalkeeper Bárbara.

In the 85th minute, Zadorsky nearly scored on a diving redirection from a Beckie free kick, but the ball hit the post and stayed out. Zadorsky tried to knock in the rebound from the ground, but Brazil managed to clear the Canada chance.

“We have a resilient group and some good depth that we have been able to assess,” said Priestman. “In the second half, we saw more of a representation of what we expect, from the aggression to being on the front foot and creating chances. Ultimately what you saw out there today was some new players and new partnerships on the pitch.”

Over the past two seasons, including a lengthy break because of the world pandemic, Canada’s international record is five wins, two draws and four losses in 11 matches.

Canada’s starting XI featured Stephanie Labbé in goal, Jayde Riviere at right back, Jade Rose and Shelina Zadorsky at centre back, Gabrielle Carle at left back, and Desiree Scott, Jessie Fleming, Sarah Stratigakis, Deanne Rose, Janine Beckie and Nichelle Prince from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Bev Priestman replaced Prince with Evelyne Viens (46′), Stratigakis with Jordyn Listro (46′), Riviere with Lindsay Agnew (58′), Deanne Rose with Adriana Leon (65′), and Scott with Sophie Schmidt (90’+1).

Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team again wore their new 2021 Nike home jersey in Wednesday’s match against Brazil. The jersey draws its inspiration from the maple leaf, an important and iconic symbol in Canadian culture. The new home jersey features a distinctive mix of red colours – Challenge Red, Sport Red and University Red – across a geometric design of maple leaves. In addition to the new kits, Canada Soccer also debuted its new custom ‘Power Lines’ font which will be used for all National Team jersey numbering and nameplates. The distinctive font typeface was also inspired by the maple leaf, built from the dynamic angles and lines of Canada’s iconic and beloved symbol.