Canada Claims Bronze at Algarve Cup after Penalty Shootout

The Canadian women’s national soccer team won the bronze medal at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, after beating Sweden in a 6-5 penalty thriller. Sophie Schmidt, Deanne Rose, Ashley Lawrence, Janine Beckie and Kadeisha Buchanan scored from the spot, but after Stephanie Labbe saved Hanna Glas’ shot, it was all up to Jessie Fleming. The 20-year-old UCLA midfielder had nerves of steel and beat Hedvig Lindahl to bring her team the win!

The Canadian captain Christine Sinclair missed her penalty, which could have given the Swedes the advantage, but Labbe denied Larsson’s shot.

It should be noted that Canada recorded an excellent result at the Algarve Cup, bearing in mind the fact that the team scored only one goal during the tournament. The team’s defence also did one hell of a job, as the Canadian women didn’t concede a goal in Portugal.

The team will now turn its attention to England, their next opponent. A friendly game scheduled to take place on April 5 in Manchester will be a great opportunity to see how the how the preparations for the upcoming World Cup are going. England is currently ranked fourth in the world, one place above Canada.

Canada women's national soccer team

Jordyn Huitema (No. 9 in middle) and her Canadian teammates at Wednesday’s Algarve Cup opener versus Iceland. – Canada Soccer Photo

Heiner-Moller made two changes when compared to the games against Scotland. Labbe was in goal instead of Erin McLeod, while Nichelle Prince replaced Jordyn Huitema.

Plenty of Chances, Zero Goals

The two teams were evenly matched in the opening minutes, while Canada soon started to exert pressure on the Swedes. The Canadians had the first chance to score a goal, but Prince’s shot in the 14th minute went over the bar. 12 minutes later, Canada had another goalscoring opportunity, but Lindahl managed to get to the ball before Sinclair did. Allysha Chapman shot from the penalty box late in the first half, by the result stayed 0-0.

Canada did score a goal in the stoppage time, but Lawrence was offside.

8 minutes into the second half Canada had another chance to score, but Ilestedt cleared the danger. Just 3 minutes later Nilla Fischer hit the bar following a corner.

Rose, Grosso and Agnew entered the game 20 minutes before the end, which gave Schmidt a more attacking role. A goalscoring chance followed, but the Swedish goalie saved Beckie’s shot.

Canada started the tournament with a goalless draw against Iceland, before beating Scotland 1-0. The Canadian women won the Algarve Cup back in 2016, while a year later they lost 1-0 against Spain.

The biggest challenge for Canada is the upcoming World Cup, which will start on June 7. Canada will play against the Netherlands, New Zeland and Cameroon in the group stage of the competition.