Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team defeated Nigeria 2:0 in a night full of celebration at BC Place in Vancouver.
Before the match, Christine Sinclair celebrated her all-time international goalscoring record in front of a home crowd, surrounded by family as well as former and current teammates. Sinclair scored her record breaking 185th goal came in the 23rd minute of Canada’s opening match at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on 29 January 2020 at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, USA.
Canada started the match of the front foot, with Janine Beckie causing problems for the Nigerian defenders, sending cross after cross into the 18-yard box. Desiree Scott had two attempts on goal in the first half, just narrowly missing the net.
Stephanie Labbé made a diving stop in the 28′ to keep the score line even, which sent the home crowd at BC Place into a frenzy.
At half time the celebrations continued. Canada Soccer’s Hall of Fame class of 2019, 2020, and 2021 had their moment to celebrate with the home crowd at BC Place. Candance Chapman, Randee Hermus, Karina LeBlanc, Brittany Timko Baxter, Martina Franko and Rhian Wilkinson were all in attendance.
Stephanie Labbé made way at the start of the second half for Kailen Sheridan. Labbé was met by a standing ovation from the home crowd, as Labbé departed the pitch for the last time.
Jesse Fleming would break the deadlock with a goal in 50′, beating the keeper after receiving a cut back pass from Deanne Rose.
In the 62′ Canada nearly doubled their lead, with four attempts on goal cleared off the goal line by a handful of Nigerian players determined to keep the ball out of the back of the net.
Kailen Sheridan wasted no time making her presence known, making a fully outstretched fingertip stop to keep Canada ahead.
Adriana Leon stunned the BC Place crowd with an acrobatic volley, that was ultimately stopped by the Nigerian keeper. On the ensuing corner however, Jordyn Huitema would get on the end of Janine Beckie’s cross in, knocking the ball to Vanessa Gilles who buried the ball in the net with a powerful header.
After the final whistle, Stephanie Labbé was honoured by fans and teammates as she hung up the gloves on an incredible career with Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team.
Canada’s Starting XI saw Stephanie Labbé start in goal for the final match of her career. Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles and Jayde Riviere formed the back line. Desiree Scott, Quinn, and Jessie Fleming started in midfield, with Deanne Rose, Janine Beckie, and Captain Christine Sinclair leading the attack.
Head Coach Bev Priestman made a triple substitution to begin the second half, bringing on Kailen Sheridan, Julia Grosso, and Adriana Leon in place of Stephanie Labbé, Desiree Scott and Jayde Riviere. Jordyn Huitema would replace Deanne Rose (58′) Cloé Lacasse and Sophie Schmidt would replace Christine Sinclair and Quinn (77′)