Canada delivered a strong performance but was not able to find the back of the net in a 0:0 draw against Czech Republic in Cartagena, Spain. This first of two Women’s International Friendly matches was part of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and saw Canada use all five substitutes with Bianca St-George making her international debut.
“We got the clean sheet and in the grand scheme of things this will push us on to the next match. If we want to change the colour of the medal we’ve got to look after the ball more and we have to finish the chances. We had some good chances but we’ve got to convert,” said Bev Priestman, Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We want to turn the table on that Brazil result we had (at SheBelieves Cup). I think it will be a very exciting game and should feel like an Olympic Games fixture, that level of opposition, so I’m excited.”
Canada will next face Brazil at Estadio Cartagonova on Monday 14 June at 21:00 local (15:00 ET / 12:00 PT), with a live broadcast on OneSoccer. Throughout the June window, Canadian fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter featuring the social media hashtag #CANWNT.
“As a centreback and being defensively-minded, I’m very happy that we got a clean sheet,” said Kadeisha Buchanan before turning her attention to the Brazil match. “Recognizing our abilities and capabilities, we do have time and can take care of the ball, we’ll need to keep the ball from Brazil and finish our chances.”
In the first half, Canada created multiple opportunities and maintained the pressure. In the 10’, Gabrielle Carle had the first opportunity for Canada, but her shot was just wide. A few minutes later, Adriana Leon brought the ball into the box, but her effort was blocked. Czech Republic had an opportunity a few minutes later in the 15’, but Franny Crena’s shot went out for a goal kick.
In the 24’, Carle sent the ball through to Sinclair, who tried to bring the ball into the box. On the deflection, Jessie Fleming got a shot on goal, but Czech Republic goalkeeper Barbora Votikoba made the save.
In the 38’, Canada once again played through into the Czech Republic box as Nichelle Prince found Sinclair whose left-foot shot was blocked by a defender. On the rebound, Prince’s shot went over the bar. In the last minute of the half Adriana Leon had another opportunity when she found herself in front of the net with the ball after a cross from Prince before she was called for a foul.
In the second half, Canada continued their momentum and pressured the Czech Republic to try to break the deadlock. In the 50’, Fleming played a deft pass to Leon who tried unsuccessfully to find some space, and Schmidt eventually got the shot away, but it went over the bar.
After a pair of substitutions at the 57’, second-half substitute Jordyn Huitema had a chance with a header on Ashley Lawrence’s cross near the back post, but her attempt went wide. Kadeisha Buchanan’s 82’ header off a Canadian corner was saved by the goalkeeper.
Deanne Rose had Canada’s best opportunity in the 85’ as Ashley Lawrence played a brilliant pass through the box. It was just missed by Viens and continued through to Rose who fired the ball into the side netting.
Canada had a chance late after a handball call just outside of the box in injury time. Jessie Fleming and second -half substitute Julia Grosso stood over the free kick and Fleming hit the set piece into the wall and out for a corner.
“It was a hard-fought performance. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a physical battle and I thought we left it all out there and created a lot of chances,” said Ashley Lawrence
Canada’s starting XI featured Stephanie Labbé in goal, Jayde Riviere at right back, Vanessa Gilles and Kadeisha Buchanan at centre back, Gabrielle Carle at left back, and Sophie Schmidt, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming, Nichelle Prince, Christine Sinclair, and Adriana Leon from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Bev Priestman replaced Prince with Jordyn Huitema (46’), Leon with Deanne Rose and Carle with Julia Grosso (57’), Sinclair with Evelyne Viens (65’), and Bianca St-Georges for Riviere (80’).
OLYMPIC MEDAL WINNERS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONS
Canada are two-time Olympic bronze medal winners (2012 and 2016) and two-time Concacaf champions (1998 and 2010). In all, Canada have participated in seven consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ (1995 to 2019) and three consecutive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2016). At Rio 2016, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team were the first Canadian Olympic team to win back-to-back medals at a summer Olympic Games in more than a century.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won four Concacaf youth titles: the 2004 and 2008 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, and the 2014 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship. Canada have qualified for seven editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (including a silver medal at Canada 2002) and all six editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (including a fourth-place finish at Uruguay 2018).