The CanWNT Celebration Tour starts with an emphatic 5-1 win

CanWNT captain Christine Sinclair celebrates her 189th goal with teammates
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OTTAWA, ON – The CanWNT Celebration Tour started in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. The sixth-ranked and defending gold medalists, the Canadian women’s soccer team were all introduced with gold medals around their necks in Canada’s capital city. It was a great sight to see for a national team, which is now one of only five teams to win in the Olympics or at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The CanWNT Celebration Tour starts with a 5-1 win at TD Place Stadium

Three keys to the game

The CanWNT took advantage of New Zealand’s mistakes in the first half

The CanWNT applied a lot of pressure throughout the game, including the first half. This resulted in New Zealand making a few mistakes. The first was a handball by a Football Ferns player to give the CanWNT a penalty.

Then in the 41-minute, New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler made a handling error on Deanne Rose’s shot. As a result, Sinclair took advantage and put the ball into the back of the net.

Canada had three shots on goal in the first half. There were other chances like Nichelle Prince’s chance in the 34-minute, but her first touch was too heavy. This momentum would continue in the second half.

The CanWNT dominated the second half

In the second half, Janine Beckie really shined. She was involved in all three of Canada’s second-half goals. Two of these three goals involved the teamwork of several CanWNT players.

This goal showed terrific chemistry and awareness between the players. Beckie passed it to Deanne Rose, who flicked the ball to Prince. Prince made a good run to get to the ball and put the ball into the back of the net.

The second goal also involved several players. This included Gabrielle Carle, who made a quick pass to Janine Beckie, who quickly passed it to Adriana Leon for the one-time finish. It was a fantastic goal set up by five players of the CanWNT. Sophie Schmidt set up the play and Jordyn Huitema played a role in the goal.

Sinclair almost scored her 189th international goal for the CanWNT in Canada’s capital, but it was superbly stopped by Football Ferns goalkeeper Nayler. There were other chances for Canada throughout the game, However, New Zealand did a good job in blocking a lot of Canada’s shots. Still, Canada had 24 shots and 11 of them were on target.

CanWNT’s defence shone again

This is while New Zealand only had five shots with two of them on target. This was thanks largely to Canada’s defence A big reason why the CanWNT won gold against Sweden and defeated the U.S. in the Summer Olympics was their defensive play. This happened yet again against New Zealand. Here are a few examples:

  • Janine Beckie made a terrific tackle in the 25-minute to prevent a clear-cut Football Ferns scoring opportunity.
  • Vanessa Gilles made a good deflection in the 34-minute, which allowed Stephanie Labbé to collect the ball.

Yes, Alysha Chapman did concede a penalty that resulted in New Zealand’s lone goal scored by Ria Percival. However, other than that, it was a perfect performance from Canada. Canada was a team that did not give up more than a goal in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Also, Sophie Schmidt made a terrific tackle late in the game. It should not have warranted a yellow card, but it shows how well Canada plays defensively.

The CanWNT Celebration Tour inaugural game overview

Janine Beckie was the best player in the game as she played well defensively and was involved in three of Canada’s five goals. In particular, she played a critical role in the fifth goal. Her shot was stopped by Nayler, allowing Leon to get the rebound and score her second goal of the game. She also showed terrific speed like in the 250minute to prevent a clear-cut Football Ferns scoring opportunity.

The CanWNT was by far the better team with an impressive win. It was an expected win, but what made the win more promising was the goals scored. New Zealand is a decent team and is currently ranked 23rd in the world. They also only lost to Australia by one goal and Sweden by two goals in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

More importantly, for the athletes and the fans, they get to start their Celebration Tour. It is important to note that because of COVID-19, there were no fans in Tokyo 2020. So, these players on the CanWNT did not get to celebrate their accomplishments with the CanWNT fans and/or family. Also, for New Zealand, this is a chance to face one of the best in the world and the defending Summer Olympic champions. This will be a valuable experience for New Zealand as both they and Australia will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

The Celebration Tour continues for the CanWNT as they face the Football Ferns at Stade Saputo (also Saputo Stadium) in Montreal, Quebec. The game will take place on Tuesday, October. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET. It will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.

Photo credit to Canada Soccer by Martin Bazyl on October 23, 2021.