Canada’s defense & discipline could take them far into the WC

The Canadian Women’s Team won their second consecutive game at the World Cup, which qualifies them for the next round. The Canadians kept their second clean sheet in as many games and showed great discipline defensively to defeat New Zealand.

See also: The Common Goal Initiative

In 2015, Canada hosted the World Cup and suffered much heartbreak in the quarter finals when they lost to England in the quarter finals 1-0. Then began a refreshing of the squad and we are seeing the results today. Canada won Bronze in the Olympics in Brazil and will look to go back home with another medal at France 2019.

Canada has conceded only one goal in their last seven games. In their last four, they conceded none and scored four. They are captained by legendary player Christine Sinclair, who has a whopping 181 national goals and is edging closer to Wambach’s record of 184.

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Canada’s Sinclair provided an assist and hit the woodwork twice today

The veteran leader is joined by experienced players such as Schmidt, Zadorsky, Chapman and Desiree Scott, the Canadian version of Claude Makelele, who is the engine of the Canadian midfield. Add to that talented youngsters who popped on the scene during or after the 2015 World Cup at home and Canada look like a force to be reckoned with.

Manchester City’s Janine Beckie, only 24 years of age, was very lively on the left flank today. Lawrence and Fleming bossed the midfield, playing in a box-to-box role, thanks to Scott’s defensive work. Riviere is the surprise package for the Canada team, playing as right wing back, and causing all kinds of issues to the New Zealanders today with her pace and trickery.

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Fleming opened the score against New Zealand, assisted by Prince

Upfront to complement Sinclair’s brilliance is Nichelle Prince’s technical ability and willingness to have a go at defenders. The two ladies combined brilliantly on Canada’s second goal, with the older player providing the assist.

What struck me most was Canada’s ability to defend cleanly and stay disciplined throughout the game. They had a lot of possession in the first half, without worrying New Zealand too much. You would think when they started having a go at it in the second half, it would open up spaces for New Zealand to take advantage of. Quite the contrary.

They maintained their discipline and defended with ease, while the likes of Beckie, Prince, Fleming and Sinclair getting the job done on the other side of the pitch.

The Netherlands are next for the Canadians, a much stronger opponent. If Canada maintain their defensive discipline, they could very well get the job done again. Regardless of what happens, they are in the next round.

Canada are proving they a real dark horse in this year’s World Cup. Could they go all the way?

 

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