Canada: Mexico dominance hints at bright World Cup

TORONTO, ON - MAY 18 - Canadian forward Christine Sinclair celebrates her goal against Mexico during International Women's Soccer at BMO Field in Toronto, May 18, 2019. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 18 - Canadian forward Christine Sinclair celebrates her goal against Mexico during International Women's Soccer at BMO Field in Toronto, May 18, 2019. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Canada remains unbeaten in 2019 as they prepare for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France with a 3-0 win over Mexico. The performance hints at a bright World Cup this summer.

Team Canada won their Send-Off Match against Mexico 3-0 at the BMO Centre in Toronto, Canada in a crowd of over 19, 000 fans. Goals came from Captain Christine Sinclair, Jessie Fleming, and Adrianna Leon in a dominant performance,

Canada controlled much of the first half with 63% of the possession as Mexico sat deep in an effort to soak up the pressure and play on the counter. In the 15th-minute, Janine Beckie had the first real chance of the game after the ball found its way to her feet atop of the box. She would fire the shot just wide as she starred down Mexican keeper Cecilia Santiago.

Five minutes later, though, Christine Sinclair would not make the same mistake, converting Jessie Fleming’s square ball from just inside the penalty area, giving Canada the 1-0 lead.

Mexico’s counter-attacking strategy didn’t work well for them with just one shot on target in the first half. Canada continued to create chances for their side as Ashley Lawrence and Nichelle Prince dominated play on the right flank keeping defender Jimena Lopez busy.

‘We’ve been working on our relationship for the last couple years now and it’s really starting to show,’ said Prince when asked about her relationship with wingmate Lawrence.

Prince had a wonderful opportunity after a neat backheel flick from goal scorer Fleming but the shot whizzed over the crossbar. Canada returned to the second half asserting their presence on the pitch once again. Sinclair was close to adding another notch to her belt after a lofted ball from Beckie over the defense but just too high for Sinclair to meet with her head as she was in on goal alone.

Less than 10 minutes later though, Beckie’s one-touch pass from Ashley Lawrence’s deep cross into the stride of Sinclair would give the capitan the second goal of the match and bring her closer to the all-time scoring list in women’s soccer.

Head coach of Mexico Christopher Cuellar used three of his six substitutions soon after the goal to get some fresh legs on the pitch as Canada continued to dominate. The Mexican side, who are in the midst of rebuilding their national team, showed there is still plenty of work for them to do after being outpassed 602 to 363.

Canada’s coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller elected to replace Nichelle Prince and Rebecca Quinn for Deanne Rose and Julia Grosso respectively in the 63rd minute. Sinclair then nearly doubled her tally on a free kick after being clipped by Alexia Delgado at the top of the box but the keeper saw it all the way.

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The Red and Whites made more personnel changes in the 75th minute, bringing on Adriana Leon, Jade Riviere, and Jordyn Huitema. Leon came in for defender Allysha Chapman. Riviere made her first appearance for the Women’s National Team, while Huitema, who recently signed for Paris Saint-Germain at just 18-years-old, replaced Sinclair.

Leon would head the ball into the ground and over the line in the 83rd minute after getting on the end of another great cross from Lawrence on the left flank for the third goal of the game. That would end the scoring to wrap a bow on what was the perfect the start to World Cup preparations for Canada.

Mexico may not be the mightiest of international teams at present, but Canada showed great cohesiveness throughout to carve through them and suggest that they could yet go far in this summer’s competition. Their work in wide areas was especially poignant, with a series of chances and goals created from dangerous whipped crosses into the box. This was an extremely encouraging performance indeed.

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Canada will now head to France where they will play Spain in a final friendly fixture before the World Cup begins. The Reds will play their first match against Cameroon on June 10th in their first group fixture. The North American side has yet to make it past the quarter-finals. But if they continue to play as they did here, they will be looking to explore greener pastures this time around.