Canada scores opening-match win at FIFA Women's World Cup

Paola Ditto
Июня 12, 2019

The 1-0 victory against Cameroon at the Stade de la Masson in their opening game of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the eighth time in nine games Canada has not conceded a goal this year.

But what did we learn from the match?

At 35 years and 363 days, Christine Sinclair became the oldest player to represent Canada at the Women's World Cup.

"To start the tournament with three points, it's really important", said midfielder Janine Beckie.

Playing on the left of midfield, Beckie was wonderful, causing Cameroon serious problems with her creativity.

While Canada's defence has been solid since that loss, goals have been hard to come by.

With Canada slightly rattled it was Buchanan again who settled the nerves, a downward header past Annette Ngo Ndom giving the "visitors" the lead moments before half-time.

181 - Christine Sinclair is four goals away from Abby Wambach's all-time global record of 184.

Canada's captain has 181 all-time worldwide goals, trailing American Abby Wambach by just three.

Beckie herself went close to opening the scoring on 13 minutes with a snap-shot from 25 yards, which flew just wide.

A measure of Canada's dominance was shown in the game's passing statistics.

The Portland Thorns striker did have more efforts in the second half; including another header which failed to trouble the goalkeeper, a poor free-kick which was nowhere near beating the wall, and a close-range stab goalwards that just wouldn't go in.

Portland Thorns captain Christine Sinclair is expected to play a huge role for Canada in the World Cup.

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Despite the defeat, Cameroon can leave their first game against Canada with their heads held high.

The Indomitable Lionesses, ranked 46th in the world, parked the bus early against No. 5 Canada.

The one negative from the performance which will need to be worked on ahead of their next game against Netherlands, is their lack of bite in attack. She won a number of tackles against a pair of speedy Cameroon forwards in Ajara Nchout and Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene. She completed two take-ons and was unfazed by the opponents, not being afraid to get stuck into tackles and challenge for every ball.

The 23-year-old was an absolute rock at the back, keeping up with the risky Onguene, ensuring her opponent did not have too much luck. Buchanan, like an Exocet missile, came steaming through the penalty box at the far post, flying through the air for her fourth goal in 89 career matches - and her first since February 2016.

The defender, who plays club football in France for Lyon, struck from a corner at the end of the first half to give Canada a 1-0 win in Montpellier. Their only other success came in China in 2007, beating Ghana in the group stages.

It is rare Cameroon venture beyond their borders, unlike the two other teams from Africa competing at this World Cup, their preparations against global teams has been limited to a 1-0 loss to China in April and a 4-0 defeat by Spain in May. Of the 24 teams in the tournament, 16 advance to the second round, including the four best third-place teams from the six groups.

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