Canada picked up three points in its opening match at the 2010
CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier. They defeated Trinidad and
Tobago by 1:0 in the Friday 29 October group match at Estadio Beto Ávila in
Cancún, Mexico. The win puts Canada in second place behind Mexico, who won its
opening match 7:2 over Guyana in the second group match of the night.
"It’s true that the first match is always the toughest, but we missed
too many chances to score,' said Canadian national head coach Carolina Morace. 'We created four or five clear chances, chances (from
which) we have to score."
In the opposite group (Group B), USA and Costa Rica each have three
points after their opening-day wins on Thursday 28 October. USA won
5:0 over Haiti while Costa Rica won 1:0 over Guatemala. Group B action
continues on Saturday 30 October.Canada got its 2010 CONCACAF Women’s
World Cup Qualifier campaign off to a good start with a narrow victory
over Trinidad and Tobago on Friday 29 October in Cancún, Mexico.
Despite dominating for much of the match, Canada struggled to break
down a physical Trinidad and Tobago side. Melissa Tancredi scored the
lone goal in the 63rd minute following an explosive end-to-end
counterattacking move from the Canadians. For her part, Tancredi
couldn’t be happier that the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers are being
hosted in Mexico: she has scored in all five international matches she
has played in Mexico.
The match kicked off in extremely humid conditions as late afternoon
shadows stretched across the Estadio Beto Ávila. In the early stages,
both teams showed evidenced of the nerves that often accompany participation in
"We were very anxious, very tense," said national head coach Carolina
Canada had the first clear chance of the match in the fifth minute as
Christine Sinclair made a great
through pass to find Tancredi behind the
Trinidad defence, but goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was quickly off her line
to beat her to the ball. The ball ricocheted kindly for Belanger
who had an empty goal to shoot, but she shpt wide.
The physical nature of the match was seen when
Canadian centre back Emily Zurrer was forced to leave the pitch for
several minutes due to a severe gash on her forehead which required
stitches. She returned wearing heavy bandaging on her head.
Through the opening stages Canada dominated proceedings and
nearly made the breakthrough as Sinclair escaped her marker and made a
hard header on
goal from a Rhian Wilkinson corner kick. Unfortunately for Sinclair and Canada
her powerful effort went straight to Forbes in the Trinidad
Tancredi thought she had given Canada a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute,
but the goal was inexplicably called back for offside. Video replays
on television showed a lineswoman making an error. This error was
repeated when Tancredi put the ball in the goal for a second time, but
once more offside was called.
Canada entered the first half break pleased with its territorial
domination, but frustrated with its inability to convert all its
possession into goals, samnd increasingly frustrated at the numerous
The second half continued in much the same fashion as the first and
Canada was on the attack quickly. Just three minutes after the restart
Bélanger dug out an excellent cross for Sinclair who bravely
challenged with Forbes in the Trinidad and Tobago goal, but her
redirection went narrowly wide.
Canada had a dangerous looking opportunity on the hour mark as the
ball pinged around the Trinidad penalty area and four Canadians fired
shots at the Trinidad goal only to see them all blocked.
Three minutes later Canada made the long awaited breakthrough and the
quality of the goal made it worth the wait. A great counterattacking
move from Canada started deep in its own half as a slick touch from
Jonelle Filigno freed Matheson who quickly found Sinclair running at
the Trinidad defence. Sinclair looked up and picked out Rhian
Wilkinson charging forward from her right full back position.
Wilkinson then chipped a nice ball over the top into the path of Tancredi
who calmly picked her spot and beat Forbes for the opening goal. The
goal was just reward for Tancredi who was one of the hardest
working players on the night for Canada.
Second half substitute Jonelle Filigno then had an excellent chance to
extend the lead as she broke through free on goal, but she rushed ger
shot and the ball rolled just wide of the goal in the 73rd minute.
Canada comfortably saw out the remainder of the match, as Karina LeBlanc was rarely tested in the Canadian goal.
Trinidad and Tobago's best player was right winger Ahkeela Mollon, a
late addition to the Soca Princesses lineup from her club team in
Coach Morace selected a 4-3-3 formation to start the match which saw
Karina LeBlanc in goal, Marie-Eve Nault, Emily Zurrer,
Candace Chapman, and Rhian Wilkinson left to right across the back
line, Kaylyn Kyle, Diana Matheson and Sophie Schmidt in midfield, and
Josée Bélanger, Melissa Tancredi, and Christine Sinclair in
Coach Morace made her first substitiution of the match in the
53rd minute as Bélanger was replaced by Jonelle Filigno. Canada made
its second and third substitutions in quick succession as goal scorer
Tancredi made way for Desiree Scott in the 73rd minute and Schmidt was
replaced by Carmelina Moscato two minutes later.
Next up for Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting
sponsor is Teck, is Guyana on Sunday 31 October. Guyana and Mexico
played in the second Group A match immediately following the Canada -
Trinidad and Tobago on Friday night, with Mexico winning 7 - 2. All of Canada’s Group A matches are
being played at the Estadio Beto Ávila in Cancún.
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