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The CanWNT got a clean sheet in a win over New Zealand at Stade Saputo

CanWNT player Adriana Leon on October 26

MONTREAL, QC – The CanWNT got a clean sheet at Stade Saputo. It was the second game of the Celebration Tour of their Gold Medal in Tokyo 2020. This was also the first Celebration Tour game played in the province of Quebec.

CanWNT got a clean sheet at Stade Saputo

Three keys to the game

The CanWNT played good defence and goalkeeping

A big part of the CanWNT’s Gold Medal was largely due to their excellent defence and goalkeeping. It once again showed up on Tuesday night against New Zealand. Here are two examples:

  • In the 38-minute, Shelina Zadorsky made a terrific defensive challenge.
  • In the 26-minute, Ria Percival’s terrific shot was saved masterfully by Stephanie Labbé.

Canada had more of the possession and the defence was solid throughout the game. That is why New Zealand only had two shots on goal as they had trouble getting clear-cut chances. Les Rouges did give up some turnovers in the second half but recovered quite quickly.

Adriana Leon’s goal was the difference of the game

Adriana Leon’s goal was the reason why Canada won the game. Before the goal though was the excellent passing play by Canada. New Zealand had trouble dealing with it in the first half. Sophie Schmidt played extremely well as she made some great passes. This was the same case with the goal. She passed the ball to Jessie Fleming who passed the ball to Janine Beckie. Beckie’s shot was stopped but Leon was there at the right time to grab the rebound and score the game-winning goal.

The reason why Canada won the game was the excellent passing in the first half. It troubled New Zealand a lot in the first half. This game was also the second win in four days over the Football Ferns.

CanWNT had more scoring chances and possession of the ball

Canada had more shots and shots on goal. However, Canada only had three shots on goal compared to New Zealand’s two. A part of that might be passing accuracy. Canada had an 82 percent passing percentage while New Zealand had 73 percent. Canada’s passing gave the Football Ferns problems in the first half.

The most notable one was in the second half. Rebecca Quinn noticed that the New Zealand goalkeeper Anna Leat was off her line. Quinn’s pass successfully went to Jordyn Huitema, but she was unable to take advantage and the shot was off target. Also in the second half, Leon had a shot on goal, but her shot was saved by the Football Ferns goalkeeper Leat.

CanWNT won their second-straight Celebration Tour game, this time at Stade Saputo

The CanWNT won their second-straight Celebration Tour game. This time though it was a lot closer than the game at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Ontario. Still, Canada got the job done against New Zealand. The Football Ferns are a decent side that had competitive games against Australia and Sweden in Tokyo 2020. The final scoreline should not shock many people.

The positive for Canada is that their goal on Tuesday was generated through open play. Leon now has three goals in the two Celebration Tour matches. Her positioning and being there at the right time should never be underestimated.

Schmidt also had a good game. Her terrific passing, especially in the first half led to Canada getting the game-winning goal. These players know their role and many of their goals have come from team play in these past two games. For other cities in Canada that did not have a Celebration Tour game, this is just the beginning. The OneSoccer broadcast talked about Western and Central Canada, and potentially the Maritimes possibly hosting Celebration Tour games.

Picture credit to Canada Soccer by Martin Bazyl on October 26, 2021.



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