Canada Stunned By Last-Minute Goal Against Brazil In Montreal
The Canadian Women’s National Team lost the first game of a two-game series, dropping the opener in Montreal.
In front of a sell-out crowd of 19,619 at Saputo Stadium, Canada lost the first game to Brazil 1-0 thanks to a late goal by Debinha in the last minute of stoppage time.
The team will now travel to Halifax and it will be a quick turnaround for the game on Tuesday night at Wanderers Ground.
“I feel gutted to have a double deflection,” Priestman told the media in the post-game press conference. “Kailen is good but not that good, and they worked hard. It was a good game.”
Brazil, to the delight of the plethora of Brazilian fans in attendance, started the match on the right foot by controlling the game and really taking it to Canada.
“I thought Brazil was changing shape. It suited them and it had a 0-0 feel to it because the team’s shapes canceled each other out. It was a test we needed, and it wasn’t a great game.”
Brazil had their first shot on target in the 15th minute with Cristiane testing Sheridan, but the Canadian goalkeeper was able to make her first save of the match.
“I thought in the first half we got a hold of the ball better and started strong but the second half we couldn’t get a hold of the game and there were moments where we should have put our chances away.”
Canada took a major hit in the 22nd minute when Jesse Fleming, who Priestman confirmed was dealing with a migraine, was forced out of the game early.
“She had a headache this morning, so I am assuming that’s what it was… so it’s nothing that will affect her status for Tuesday’s game.”
Three minutes later Cristiane had another chance at goal but her shot wasn’t strong enough and it became an easy save for Sheridan.
“I think just before halftime we had a foothold in the game. Brazil was designed to counterattack and they jumped on the ball in the midfield, and we were isolated and very physical.”
It seemed like Brazil’s gameplan was to press high and force turnovers, which is exactly what happened – and it turned into many scoring chances for the Brazilians.
“I think we need to get a hold of the ball a bit more and there are some things we need to look at and now we know what they played so that is us just adapting.”
I asked Priestman about Brazil using the high press and forcing turnovers, and she offered sense of it.
“It’s adapting to a brand new shape, but the level up is a whole other level in terms of transition and they cause you problems. I knew today would be a challenge and the coach set them up well.”
In the 28th minute, Canada thought they scored when Julia Grosso, who came in for Fleming, found Vanessa Gilles with a solid lob pass. Gilles headed the ball into the net but the offside flag went up.
Five minutes later Adrianna had another chance this time with a powerful shot on target forcing Sheridan to make another amazing save.
“To be fair Kailen has taken over and I thought she was outstanding tonight and she was very composed, and world-class saves. She is a vocal leader.”
In the stoppage time of the first half, Nichelle Prince found herself in a one-on-one situation with the Brazilian keeper Lucianna but decided to pass the ball to Adriana Leon, whose shot hit the post and stayed out.
” I think we need to adapt to what Brazil caused us today. It was a different test tonight and we need to be prepared for that test and set the team up for success.”
Three minutes into the second half it was Rafaelle with her first chance of the game for Brazil, but she was stopped by Sheridan who was doing her best to keep Canada in the game.
In the 62nd minute, Debinha had a chance when she got a solid feed from Ary Borges, but Sheridan once again came up with a stunning save to delight the Canadian fans in attendance.
Debinha had another chance in the fourth minute of extra time and she made good on it when she got the ball and her shot from just outside the box got deflected by two Canadian defenders and into the back of the net.
“It was a difficult one,” Sheridan told me in the mixed zone post-game. “It was a double deflection and I thought I had it, and it was an unlucky bounce. There are things we need to work on but we look forward to seeing them again on Tuesday.”
Cloe Lacasse spoke about the tough test today against Brazil and gave her assessment of the match.
“When you play a team like Brazil it is always different. It is never the same dynamic and they play a style that is liberal. They always play a style that they never plan for and it works for them.”
Lacasse feels the team played into the hands of Brazil which led to them controlling most of the game.
“In my mind, I think we played into their hands a little bit and too much throughout the 90. We need to find alternatives for the next match.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer