Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team finished their memorable Olympic Gold Medal year with a 0:0 away draw against Mexico in the second of a two-match friendly series in Mexico City, Mexico. The draw closed out an incredible year in which Canada posted seven wins, seven draws and three losses along with a Women’s National Team record 12-match unbeaten streak and a world title at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Across the two matches, Victoria Pickett and Cloé Lacasse made their first two international “A” appearances while Marie Levasseur and Sura Yekka made their first two appearances since 2017 and 2015, respectively. In the 0:0 draw with Mexico on Tuesday night, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan posted the clean sheet while midfielder Desiree Scott was Canada’s Player of the Match.
“We got to assess some players and that’s the biggest take home with these new players learning our system and stepping in,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We gained some experience that we can draw upon and be ready to carry into qualification and beyond with great learnings to apply when it really matters.”
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team will kick off the 2022 season in February at a new invitational tournament in England with matches against England on 17 February, Germany on 20 February, and Spain on 23 February. Broadcast and ticketing information for these away matches will be announced at a later date. Canada will use the tournament as part of its preparations for the Concacaf W Championship that will serve as the qualifiers for both the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ and 2024 Summer Olympics.
“We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves and use the bravery that got us to the heights from this summer at the Olympic Games,” said Priestman. “We are excited to move into next year and take the group forward and build on what has been a fantastic year.”
The away match also represented Women’s National Team Tour & Equipment Manager Maeve Glass’ last international “A” match with Canada before her retirement. Glass, who has helped Canada win a Concacaf championship and three Olympic medals since 2008, worked her 224th international “A” match for Canada on Tuesday.
Canada’s first real attempt on target came in the 18’ when Nichelle Prince forced a turnover and took a shot from distance which was easily caught by the Mexican goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.
Just a minute later, Jessie Fleming played a great ball over the top and into the path of Deanne Rose who chased it down and was able to get in beyond both the goalkeeper and the last defender. However, her shot rolled just inches wide of the post (19’).
In the 36’, Rose played a low cross across the penalty area towards Prince. The Mexico goalkeeper did very well to get her hands on the cross and push it away. The ball came back out to Christine Sinclair who took a shot from the penalty spot which was blocked by a defender.
In the 76’, Cloé Lacasse played a great diagonal pass into the path of Jordyn Huitema who cut quickly back inside and got a great shot away, but Alvarado came out of her net aggressively and made the save.
At the other end of the pitch, an errant pass from Canada’s goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan gave the ball straight to Mexico’s Jacqueline Ovalle who had space to run clear through on goal, but Sheridan did well to recover and make herself big to deny the opportunity (77’).
In the 82’, Victoria Pickett put a high cross from deep in the midfield that was overhit and required goalkeeper Alvarado to be alert to catch it and prevent it from crossing the goal line.
Canada nearly took the lead late in the match as Lacasse came very close to scoring her first goal for her country. Marie Levasseur played a perfectly-placed through ball to Lacasse who just couldn’t get her around the on-rushing Mexican goalkeeper (84’).
Canada’s staring XI featured Kailen Sheridan in goal, Sura Yekka at right back, Kadeisha Buchanan and Vanessa Gilles at centre back, Allysha Chapman at left back, and Desiree Scott, Quinn, Jessie Fleming, Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose and captain Christine Sinclair from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Bev Priestman replaced Yekka with Marie Levasseur (55’), Quinn with Julia Grosso (55’), Fleming with Victoria Pickett (55’), Prince with Jordyn Huitema (62’), Rose with Cloé Lacasse (62’), and Sinclair with Jenna Hellstrom (81’).
CANADA SOCCER’S WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
Canada are Olympic champions (Tokyo 2020), two-time 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 four consecutive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2021). At Tokyo 2020, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team became the first Canadian team to win three consecutive medals at the Summer Olympic Games and just the third nation in the world to win three medals in women’s soccer.
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).