Canada women win Group B in Olympic Qualifying, topping Mexico 2-0

Canada Women Olympic Qualifying
Photo of the Canadian women's national team celebrating Christine Sinclair's 186th international goal courtesy of Canada Soccer.

The Canadian women’s national team had an even match with Mexico in Olympic Qualifying, with both teams having scoring chances. The difference is that Canada made the most of their opportunities in the first half. As a result, Canada is heading to Carson, California, to face the Costa Ricans on Friday.

Game Analysis — Canada vs. Mexico

Canada was more clinical than Mexico

Canada only had two shots on goal in the first half. However, those two goals were instrumental for Canada to avoid facing the United States in the semifinals. The first goal was fantastic. Canada was able to get past an organized Mexican defense with Janine Beckie passing to Jayde Riviere. The play finished with a fantastic pass to Christine Sinclair for the easy goal. The second goal was scored from a pass by Kadeisha Buchanan inside the box to Shelina Zadorsky just before the first half ended.

Canada needed to be clinical in this game as they had fewer scoring chances against Mexico than against St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica.

Defense Strong for Both Teams

It was hard to break down the Mexican defense, as they were much more organized than the Jamaicans. Jayde Riviere’s excellent pass ended up breaking the deadlock. Canada’s defense was also strong in this game. They prevented Mexico from having many scoring chances in the game. Mexico’s best chance came in the 52nd minute, where Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé stopped a shot on goal. Canada was able to break through the Mexican defense in the last 10 minutes of the game. However, they were not able to capitalize.

First Real Test for Canada

This was the first game in the Olympic qualifying that Canada faced formidable opposition. They had scored 20 goals coming into this game and Mexico performed admirably to compete against Canada. A part of that might have been the new Liga MX Femenil that exists in Mexico.

Liga MX Femenil

Liga MX Femenil is one of Concacaf’s only two pro leagues in the confederation. Mexico got its league in 2017. The Mexicans were a more cohesive unit compared to last year’s friendly against Canada. Expect Mexico to continue improving as their league continues to grow leaps and bounds in the years ahead.

Canada will now take a trip to California where the semifinals and final will take place.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Semi-Finals

The Canadians will be at Carson, California, at Dignity Health Sports Park on Friday. They will play the Costa Ricans, who won both their games against Haiti and Panama before bowing 6-0 to the Americans. The other semifinal will be between the Americans and the Mexicans. Mexico will face formidable opposition as the USWNT are currently the defending World Cup champions.

The winners of both games will make it to Olympic qualifying final and simultaneously also qualify for this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Many pundits expect another Canada vs. United States final, but the Mexicans and Costa Ricans will look to play spoiler. The final will also take place at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday.

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