Canada Beats Jamaica, Qualifies For Paris Olympics
The Canadian Women’s National Team will have a chance to defend Olympic Gold next summer in Paris.
Another goal achieved for Bev Priestman and the Canadian Women’s National Team after beating Jamaica 2-1 and 4-1 on aggregate on Tuesday night at BMO Field in Toronto.
“It wasn’t a given that you come in and do what you did,” Priestman told me in her opening answer. “Jamaica is a great team, and you faced adversity and as the game went on we looked better.”
In front of a sold-out crowd of 29,212, Canada once again won a meaningful game – but it wasn’t easy for Priestman’s squad, who battled and came out on top.
” I think I have been on a journey with the players where we have reached an ultimate high and an ultimate low, and I’ve seen them come out swinging. The players and staff have worked incredibly hard.”
Priestman started the game with the same starting eleven as the game on Friday in Kingston, barring one last-minute change when Quinn picked up a knock in warm-up and was replaced by Julia Grosso.
“It adds character when that moment happened to us. That was a growth moment, it didn’t rock us and we handled it really well.”
Cloe Lacasse, who got her second consecutive start, kicked things off in the second minute of the game with a powerful high shot on target but right into the hands of Jamaican keeper Rebecca Spencer.
“We knew coming into this game Jamaica was going to give absolutely everything,” said Cloe Lacasse in her post-game scrum. “We had to match it and that sold-out crowd was the twelfth man who gave us that extra boost till the end of the game.”
22 minutes later it was Nichelle Prince looking to open the scoring with another chance at goal, but again she was stopped by Spencer.
“We looked excited when we do what we talked about and playing forward and running forward and quicker with less touches and we look exciting.”
In the 33rd minute, Jamaica opened the scoring when they were awarded a free-kick for a handball and Drew Spence lined up the ball and powered a kick into the back of the net.
Five minutes later Ashley Lawrence had a glorious chance to tie the game, but her shot went off the crossbar and stayed out much to her disappointment.
A minute later Canada earned a corner and it went right to Lacasse, who was able to head the ball into the back of the night to the delight of the home crowd who almost took the roof off BMO Field.
“It was extra special,” she said when talking about the goal. “It was a set piece and I was fortunate enough to get on top of it and put it into the back of the net.”
Jordyn Huitema, who entered the second half as a sub, had a chance to give Canada the lead but her first shot of the game wasn’t good enough to beat Spencer.
Two minutes later she had a second chance and made good on it to give Canada the 2-1 lead once again heading a ball into the net off a stellar cross from Lawrence.
The Jamaicans were only able to manage one shot on target in the second half as Canada did a great job holding them off and securing both the win and the qualification.
Canada will now focus on the next international window in October and November and Priestman confirmed they are just waiting on confirmation before announcing the next game.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer