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Canada draws Tokyo Olympics soccer opener with host Japan – with photo gallery

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Canada drew 1-1 with hosts Japan in the opening game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s soccer tournament in an empty Sapporo Dome stadium Wednesday.

And Canada’s coach Bev Priestman was satisfied with the draw, despite having led for most of the game.

“We took a point from playing the host nation which I think is great,” said Canada head coach Bev Priestman following the match. “The team went to the very end to make sure we got that point. The finishers came on and I think they changed the game, so credit to them.”

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Canada’s Christine Sinclair, making her 300th international appearance, scored the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute.

Stephanie Labbé saved a penalty early in the second half, after fouling Japanese forward Mina Tanaka in the box. But the Canadian keeper was replaced soon after by Kailen Sheridan, due to an injury suffered in the initial collision.

Japan eventually equalized six minutes from time through Manu Yabuchi.

Canada next plays Chile Saturday.

“Chile are not an easy team to beat,” said Priestman. “We’ve got to be clinical and have the right mindset in our next game and we’ll absolutely come away with three points.”

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About Author

Editor of Total Soccer News | Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and multimedia professional, having worked at 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. He covers Cavalry FC and Canadian Premier League. Stuart is available for media appearances, including podcasts, television, and radio. Email stuartgradon@totalsoccernews.com to inquire.

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