USA beat Canada 1-0 in their opening match of the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando, Florida Thursday. Rose Lavelle’s 79th minute goal was enough to see the hosts defeat their neighbours to the north.
The USA women out-shot Canada women 28 to nine and were deserving winners. But Canada will have gained confidence from Thursday’s performance, their first under new head coach Bev Priestman.
And they’ll will regret not converting some very good chances – Janine Beckie in particular squandering two terrific opportunities. The Canadian women will also feel hard done by after not being awarded a second half penalty for a what looked a clear hand ball.
Canadian women “stepped up”
“I think they left everything out on the pitch and I am really proud of the performance, but also I think in terms of mindset and bravery, they’re really disappointed not to get the win,” said Bev Priestman, Canada women’s head coach. “I think some players absolutely stepped up tonight and we are really proud of the performance.
“It was never going to be perfect against the FIFA Women’s World Cup champions in our first match in nearly a year, but there were moments in the game when we had our chances. By the time the Olympic Games come, we will look to put those chances away.”
Canada plays Argentina next at the She Believes Cup while USA faces Brazil. Both matches will be played Sunday, Feb. 21, also in Orlando.
The SheBelieves Cup is an annual invitational women’s soccer tournament held in the United States in late February or early March. USA and Canada are joined by Brazil and Argentina this year.