Sunday, December 12, 2010

Canada wins 1:0 over Mexico

Canada won its third match in less than six weeks against Mexico, this time a 1:0 victory at the Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo. Captain Christine Sinclair scored the lone goal of the match - her fourth goal in three matches dating back to the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifier championship final.

Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc posted the clean sheet - her fifth-straight clean sheet and eighth of the season. Canada remains in first place with a perfect six points in the four-country tournament. Canada's last group opponent will be Brazil, who also have six points but a weaker goal differential (Canada is +6 while Brazil is +4).

"It was a tough match because Mexico had to win," said Canadian coach Carolina Morace.

Canada will close out the group phase against Brazil while Mexico will close out against Netherlands on Wednesday. With Mexico and Netherlands eliminated from the top two spots in the standings, it will also be Canada against Brazil in the Sunday final.

Along with the Sinclair goal midway through the first half, Canada had two other big chances to score in the first 45 minutes. Before the goal, Sinclair hit a post; late in the first half, a Melissa Tancredi penalty kick was stopped by Mexican goalkeeper Erika Vanegas. Canada was awarded the penalty after Diana Matheson was fouled inside the box.

Sinclair's goal was scored in the 22nd minute, nearly half way through the first half. She put a chip ball past the goalkeeper for the 111th goal of her international career.

Canada's starting XI featured Karina LeBlanc in goal, Rhian Wilkinson, Emily Zurrer, Carmelina Moscato and Marie-Eve Nault at defence, and Kaylyn Kyle, Diana Matheson, Christina Julien, Josée Bélanger, Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi from midfield to attack. Canada's three substitutions were Chelsea Stewart (for Kyle) in the 57th minute, Laura Chénard (for Julien) in the 74th minute, and Robyn Gayle (for Sinclair) in the 89th minute.

As for Mexico, it played a 4-3-3 formation with Erik Vanegas in goal. The defenders were Rubi Sandoval, Alina Garciamendez, Bianca Sierra and Luz del Rosario Saucedo; the midfielders were Lydia Rangel, Liliana Mercado and Teresa Worbis; the forwards were Sandra Mayor, Dinora Garza and Veronica Perez. Coach Leonardo Cuellar then made one substitution, bringing in Tania Morales (for Rangel) in the 66th minute.

Of note from the Canadian lineup, Melissa Tancredi made her 50th appearance with Canada's national team, thus becoming the 20th player to reach the milestone.

Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, has won eight straight matches dating back to 30 September 2010 in Toronto, ON. Today's international match was played at Estádio do Pacaembu in São Paulo, Brazil. The attendance was 7,681.

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