Canada has started the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France with a fine 1-0 win over Cameroon on Monday. The game played at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier was the first opening match of the World Cup the Reds won on foreign soil.
The winning goal was scored in the dying moments of the first half by Kadeisha Buchanan. It was her fourth goal for the national team in 89 games so far, and the first one after nearly two and a half years.
In the other Group E match, the Netherlands beat New Zealand 1-0, after Roord scored the winner deep into stoppage time. Canada and the Netherlands now have three points each, while Cameroon and New Zealand are without any point.
The Reds will play their next game on Saturday, when they face New Zealand in Grenoble, while their last match of the group phase will take place in Reims on June 20, when the Canadians play against the Netherlands.
Canada has never played against Cameroon at senior level before, but they were the favourites to win, as they are currently fifth in the FIFA rankings, while the African nation is 46th.
The Winning Streak Continues
Canada is yet to lose in 2019, winning six out of nine games they’ve played since the beginning of the year, with only one goal conceded during this run.
Cameroon never had a chance to test Stephanie Labbe.
However, it was obvious that Canada relied too much on Christine Sinclair, while there were few scoring chances from open play. Also, the finishing in the final third could have definitely been better, but Cameroon simply couldn’t take advantage of the mistakes made by Canada.
Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller made no surprise selections in the team’s 4-3-3 formation. Canada started the game with almost the same starting 11 used in the game played against Mexico last month, with Buchanan being the only change.
The Reds had 69 percent possession in the first 45 minutes, while Cameroon focused on defending their goal.
Canada took seven shots to find the net. Janine Beckie delivered a great ball from the corner to the far post, Buchanan ran onto it to score her first goal since February 2016 and the game against Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifier.
The second half saw Canada try to get to Cameroon’s goal, while the Africans gave their best to stop them from doing so.
Sinclair could have doubled the lead in the 88th minute, but the ball was cleared off the line by a defender. That would have been her 182nd goal for Canada. She is still three goals away from tying Abby Wambach’s record as the leading scorer in the history of international women’s soccer.
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