Canada scores second-half goals to beat Brazil 2-0

Canada scores second-half goals to beat Brazil 2-0

HALIFAX — A sold-out crowd of 6,421 soccer fans braved close to freezing temperatures Tuesday night to watch Canada beat Brazil 2-0 in women’s soccer action at outdoors Halifax stadium the Wanderers Grounds.

HALIFAX — A sold-out crowd of 6,421 soccer fans braved close to freezing temperatures Tuesday night to watch Canada beat Brazil 2-0 in women’s soccer action at outdoors Halifax stadium the Wanderers Grounds.

It wasn’t until midway through the second half that fullback Ashley Lawrence of Toronto was able to make a solid cross to forward Jordyn Huitema of Chilliwack B.C., who was ready at the far post to head it straight past Brazilian goalkeeper Luciana and into the back of the net about 70 minutes into the friendly match.

Canada’s second goal of the night came at the 89-minute mark, when Deanne Rose of Alliston, Ont., carried the ball upfield and managed a right-footed shot from the centre of the box, on a headed pass from forward Cloé Lacasse of Sudbury, Ont., sending the crowd decked out in red and white into chants and cheering that echoed through downtown Halifax.

Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo of Welland, Ont., earned the shutout for Canada, stopping two shots on target.

The Canada-Brazil matchup marked the second of two friendlies within four days for the international rivals, with Brazil taking the first match 1-0 on Saturday in front of another sold-out crowd at Saputo Stadium in Montreal.

The real Canadian hysterics came, however, when Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair ran onto the field at the 78-minute mark, replacing goal-scorer Huitema, but giving fans a long-awaited glimpse of the 40-year-old forward on Nova Scotia turf.

The match marked Sinclair’s third last international appearance. After becoming the world’s all-time leading scorer with 190 goals through 329 senior appearances, she’ll retire following her final two matches in her home province of B.C. The first match is set for Dec. 1 in Langford on Vancouver Island, and the second is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Vancouver, which is nestled next to Sinclair’s hometown of Burnaby.

“I mean, Sinc is our leader and forever will be our leader, so I think it’s just right to give the armband back to her,” Chelsea centre back Kadeisha Buchanan of Brampton, Ont., said after the game of handing that symbol of leadership over to Sinclair when she took to the pitch under the lights of the Wanderers Grounds.

“I was just borrowing it for a couple of minutes, and as soon as she comes on, it’s right to give it back to her, because that’s where the captain band belongs,” Buchanan said.

Canada, ranked 10th in the world, has officially qualified for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris. Closely matched Brazil is ranked ninth internationally and held the Canadians off through the first half of Tuesday’s match, controlling the ball and keeping the competition on the defensive.

“This group is resilient,” Buchanan said. “We have a never-give-up attitude.”

Although the Canadians are defending Olympic gold medallists, they found themselves knocked out of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup early and at the time, shocked to the core, following a 4-0 loss to host nation Australia, ranked 11th globally.

“We just (need to) stick to the next task,” Buchanan said. “No matter how it went in the World Cup, no matter how it went in the last game, we always find a way to improve and we just … go out there and do our best.

“We always try to come back stronger and better.”

Canada’s goalkeeper called Brazil’s goal in the first friendly “unfortunate,” with D’Angelo adding that the key to Tuesday’s win was her team “being … brave on the ball in the second half.”

The enthusiasm of Halifax’s soccer fans also helped push the Canadian squad to the victory. “I’d come back after this; they were amazing,” D’Angelo said. “You could hear them the whole game and that really helps.”

Centre back Shelina Zadorsky of London, Ont., agreed Canada knows how to bounce back when behind.

“Today we showed that we never give back, and the second half it was a completely different game,” she told media, agreeing that playing in Nova Scotia was particularly meaningful for the women’s national team.

“To be able to play in Canada is always special, and certainly playing somewhere where most of us have never played,” Zadorsky said.

“They were lively, everyone had a good time, and so I’m really glad we got the win for everyone here today and to come out in the cold to support us; it means a lot.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.

Kristen Lipscombe, The Canadian Press


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