CANADA EARNS HARD-FOUGHT 2-1 WIN OVER IRELAND
2023-07-26 · 2 min read · FIFA Women's World Cup/Soccer
The Canadian Press | James Worsfold
Canada clinched its first win of the 2023 Women's World Cup with a 2-1 comeback win over Ireland Wednesday morning. Ireland captain Katie McCabe opened the scoring early with a brilliant Olimpico goal from a corner in the fourth minute, stunning the Canadians.
Canada would settle into the game midway through the opening half, dominating possession and controlling the pace of play. Their possession was rewarded with an equalizer in added time when a Julia Grosso cross was deflected in by Irish defender Megan Connolly for an own goal.
Canada came roaring out for the second half with a flurry of substitutions, including veterans Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt. Schmidt would prove especially decisive, setting up forward Adriana Leon for the go-ahead tally in the 53rd minute of play. With 17 shots (seven on target) and 75 percent pass accuracy, the performance was a big step up from Canada's previous match, and even an improvement from being frustrated by Ireland's low block and unbreakable defensive lines early in the match. Sinclair and Co. squandered multiple chances to add to their lead, but the defence held firm and Canada walked away with all three points on the day.
Canada now sits on four points after two matches with a 1-1-0 record. The toughest match of the group stage is surely up next as they will battle co-hosts Australia who despite being ranked behind Canada in the FIFA world rankings at 12th, have ambitious goals for this world-cup in front of the home crowd. A win over Australia will all but guarantee first place in Group B. A loss will leave them hoping for Nigeria to struggle in one of their final two matches and even if Canada does move on, will set up a round-of-16 knockout game against the European champions England.
The other results for Wednesday say Spain book their ticket to the knock-out stage with a 5-0 win over Zambia and Japan score two goals in two minutes taking down Costa Rica 2-0 and also booking a seat to the knockouts.
By: Aaron Cantin