Canada moved into first place at the top of Group B with a come-from-behind 2:1 victory over the Republic of Ireland at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. The Wednesday win in Perth gives Canada four points after two matches in Australia, with second-place Australia yet to face Nigeria in their second group match at Brisbane on Thursday. Adriana Leon scored the match winner after a wonderful pass forward by five-time FIFA World Cup veteran Sophie Schmidt.

“That’s what I love about this team, they know how to win and they did it when it really mattered,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach.

The Republic of Ireland’s Katie McCabe opened the scoring in the fourth minute, the earliest goal ever scored against Canada at the FIFA World Cup. McCabe scored her opener on an Olimpico, a goal direct from the corner kick for the first-ever goal by her nation at the FIFA World Cup. Late in the first half, a Julia Grosso shot was redirected by Megan Connolly for an own goal equaliser.

Leon scored the match winner eight minutes into the second half after Quinn outmuscled a trio of Irish players and then Schmidt played through a precise pass to Leon in the box. Leon took her touch, held off the defender and put it past goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan. It was both Leon’s first FIFA World Cup goal and Schmidt’s first FIFA World Cup assist.

“We pulled together in that second half,” said Adriana Leon. “We just needed to get on the ball a little more and live on it and bring our confidence. We did that.”

Canada coach Priestman picked up her first FIFA World Cup win as a Head Coach while Jessie Fleming got her first FIFA World Cup start wearing the captain’s armband. It was Canada’s first come-from-behind victory at the FIFA World Cup since their 3:1 win over Japan in the group phase at USA 2003. It also marks the third tournament in a row that Canada have opened the FIFA World Cup undefeated across their first two matches.

“I think we are just happy to pick up the three points and happy with our response in the second half,” said Jessie Fleming. “It’s tournament football, so every team is going to be difficult to play against. Ireland gave us a good challenge today so we’re happy to get our three points.”

Canada will face the co-hosts Australia in the group finale in Melbourne on Monday 31 July (20.00 local / 06.00 ET / 03.00 PT). From Group B, the Round of 16 matches are Monday 7 August (Brisbane or Sydney), the Quarterfinals are Saturday 12 August (Brisbane or Sydney), the Semifinals are Wednesday 16 August (Sydney), and the Final is Sunday 20 August (Sydney).

Across Canada, every match will be broadcast live on CTV, TSN and RDS, with extended coverage of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team from to Facebook, Instagram, Threads, TikTok, Twitter and Youtube featuring the hashtags #CANWNT and #WeCAN.