Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team earned three important points with a 2:1 win over Chile in their second match of the group phase at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Janine Beckie scored a brace for Canada and Karen Araya converted a penalty for Chile.
With this win, Canada now has four points after a 1:1 draw with host Japan in the opening match of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and is well positioned to progress to the knockout phase with one last match to play in the group phase.
“Overall, happy because we came here to get three points and that’s exactly what we did. The game was exactly what we expected it to be. It was never going to be easy.” said Head Coach Bev Priestman. “You had Olympic debuts for Jayde Riviere and Julia Grosso who came through the youth system, and I was really proud of both of those performances. We will take the positives and now it is about moving on and heading towards a big game against Great Britain.”
Canada is the only nation in the world to reach the podium at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 in women’s football. The team is hoping to make history by getting back on the podium for a third consecutive time.
“As a forward, it’s my job to put the ball in the back of the net so to come back after a less than ideal performance in the first game, to win, is what we wanted.” said Janine Beckie. “Tournaments are about winning and it’s about three points and that’s what we did today so I’m just happy to do my job for the team.”
Canada will wrap up the group stage against Great Britain in Kashima on 27 July at 20.00 local (07.00 ET / 04.00 PT). From 12 nations in three groups, the top-eight nations advance to the Olympic Quarterfinals from which winners advance to the Semifinals and then a chance to win a medal. The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament runs 21 July through 6 August 2021, with this year’s gold medal match at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
Canada opened the match with high pressure. Nichelle Prince had an early chance at the back post on a Canada corner kick in the 5’. Just a minute later, Kadeisha Buchanan scored but the goal was deemed to have been a handball as it ricocheted off Christiane Endler and onto Buchanan’s hand before finding the back of the net in the 6’.
Canada earned a PK in the 19’ after Christine Sinclair was taken down in the area. Janine Beckie stepped up and hit the post with her spot kick. Ashley Lawrence played a cross into the box in the 26’ that Prince stepped over to create an opportunity for Sinclair who put it just wide. Chile made things sticky in the midfield for a spell in the first half, but Prince got to the goal line and played a ball in to Sinclair in the 39’. Endler cleared the cross, but it fell to Beckie at the top of the area and Beckie powered it home to give Canada a 1:0 lead.
Canada opened the second half on the front foot. Just two minutes into the half, Prince once again delivered a ball through to Beckie after Shelina Zadorsky picked Prince out. Beckie took a touch to draw Endler and put the ball behind the Chilean goalkeeper for her second goal of the night, and sixth multi-goal game of her career. Chile made it 2:1 in the 57’ after a Zadorsky foul in the box was deemed worthy of a PK after VAR review. Chile came close again in the 73’ hitting the crossbar. Canada was able to shut the door for the remainder to earn the vital full three points.
Canada’s starting XI featured Kailen Sheridan in goal, Ashley Lawrence at right back, Shelina Zadorsky and Kadeisha Buchanan at centre back, Jayde Riviere at left back, and Desiree Scott, Jessie Fleming, Julia Grosso, Janine Beckie, Christine Sinclair and Nichelle Prince from the midfield up through to the attack. Head Coach Bev Priestman replaced Grosso with Quinn and Prince with Deanne Rose (61’). Both Grosso and Riviere made their Olympic debuts.
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).