Canadian women are heading to Tokyo with win over Costa Rica

Canada WNT
Photo of the Canadian women's national team courtesy of Canada Soccer.

Carson, California — The CWNST is heading to Tokyo. In an intense match between Canada and Costa Rica, it was Jordyn Huitema’s goal that made the difference for the Canadian Women.

Before the game between Canada and Costa Rica started, Concacaf presented Christine Sinclair with the international goal-scoring trophy award before the game. She broke the record previously held by American international Abby Wambach by scoring two goals against St. Kitts and Nevis. Sinclair also scored her 186th goal against Mexico a few days ago.

Canadian Women vs. Costa Rica

Defense

The reason why Canada is going to the Olympics is because of their defense. Despite their passing and offense being a bit off the mark, Costa Rica did not get any real scoring chances against Canada. The only hiccup was in the 40th minute, where Canada gave the ball away and led to a Costa Rican free kick. Fortunately for the Canadian women, Costa Rica was not able to capitalize. However, Costa Rica also had a good defense, frustrating the Canadians frontline and only allowing one shot on goal.

Physicality

The physicality of the game was quite brutal at times, two players, including Sinclair, were shaken by a challenge. Allysha Chapman got a yellow card for a rough tackle and Sophie Smith was taken down hard twice in the first half. Canada looked frustrated for most of the game until Huitema scored the game-winning goal in the 71st minute.

Offense

The offense was almost non-existent in the first half of Canada. They only had one shot on goal from a Costa Rican giveaway. The passing, while initially impressive, became worse after the 20th minute. There only real chance came in the 44th minute, where a pass from a Canadian player missed three players in the box.

However, Canada started finding its attack with Huitema, who won a corner kick for Canada in the 57th minute and Janine Beckie almost scored in the 60th minute. They kept pressing and finally Canada was able to breakthrough. Beckie passed the ball to Deanne Rose gave an excellent pass to Huitema.

Player of the Game

While Huitema was the hero of the game, Rose was the Player of the Game. She brought in a lot of life into the team as a substitute in the second half. She was also instrumental in the assist that resulted in Huitema’s goal. It was not the prettiest match, but Canada was able to get it done. Canada is now heading to the Summer Olympics for the fourth time in a row.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Final

Canada will face a stern test, whether they face the United States or Mexico. Both have the only professional women’s leagues in Concacaf, which gives them a big advantage over Canada. Canada did defeat Mexico, 2-0, and looked much better against Mexico than against Costa Rica. The United States will be a much tougher test for Canada. They have not won a competitive match against the Americans since 2001.

Regardless of who they face, it does not change the fact that the Canadians are going to the Olympics. Canada will now be looking at winning gold in Tokyo 2020, which would be the best achievement in the national team’s history. The other teams that are qualified include the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand and Brazil.

Japan will also be in the Olympics via being the host in Tokyo 2020. The Japanese last appearance in the Summer Olympics was a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics in London. They did not qualify for the Olympics at Rio in 2016.

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