Canada Bounces Back With Win Over Brazil At SheBelieves Cup
On Sunday night in Nashville, the Canadian women’s national team bounced back from a poor performance against US to beat Brazil two-nil.
At Geodis Park, the Canadians faced Brazil a team they had played twice in 2022 during their final international window of the year, securing a big win.
Canada scored two goals off set pieces starting in the 31st minute when Vanessa Gilles headed in a ball past the Brazilian keeper Lorena off a corner from Jessie Fleming.
40 minutes later in the 71st minute Canada doubled its lead off a free kick and the ball came to Evelyne Viens who was just inside the box and powered a shot into the back of the net.
Kailen Sheridan earned a clean sheet and was spectacular between the sticks, making some amazing saves to keep her team in the game and preserve that clean sheet.
After the game, Bev Priestman gave her thoughts on the win and the team resembling what it had looked like last year.
“To bounce back we had to climb and keep moving forward,” she said. “We did that and to do it in my time having a 2-0 goal lead over Brazil is a first.”
“I think keeping a clean sheet and seeing the group smiling helps, and we keep moving forward. I am pleased with tonight’s performance.”
Janine Beckie played her one hundredth cap tonight and Priestman was asked to comment on that.
“She will do anything to help this team win and I think off the pitch she has grown into a leader. She is putting the future ahead of her, and her values as a human are second to none.”
“She has gone through a lot of adversity but what she continues to do on and off the pitch is outstanding and I don’t think she has reached her ceiling. She’s got many talents and she is such a valued member of this group and will probably play 100 more.”
Canada will wrap up the tournament on Wednesday when they will face Japan. Priestman was asked to asses that matchup and what to expect.
“The game against Japan has come at a great time for us in the lead-up to the World Cup. They play many different styles and they are hard to break down because they are structured and well organized. It will be a great test for us”.
Priestman was asked about the performance of Vanessa Gilles, who scored the first goal for Canada while also coming back from an injury that took her out of action last year.
“Vanessa burst onto the scene with us two years ago and you see the threat that she has. Any set piece, she puts her head through it and her nickname is the magnet – I think you saw that tonight.”
I asked Priestman about what she thought of Sheridan’s performance tonight making some key saves and securing that clean sheet.
“To win a World Cup you need a world-class keeper, and we have that. It’s crazy to me how Steph Labbe retires and she comes in. I can’t think of any game where she hasn’t made world-class saves and doing it repeatedly, and she’s very humble.”
Both goals tonight came from set pieces. Priestman spoke about how important it is to be successful with that, especially going into a World Cup.
“31% of our goals come from set plays, and we know if you go into a World Cup with 30% you have half a chance. Jessie Fleming’s delivery was on point and we will continue to evolve.”
Finally, she was asked how important was the win tonight coming off a performance where the team was mentally and emotionally drained following a tumultuous couple of days dealing with labor, pay equity, and gender equality issues with Canada Soccer.
“The group was heavy going into the game against the US, but this group continued to surprise me. I think this group hasn’t lost two games in a row and we seem to bounce back from a defeat.”
The team will now travel to Texas to face Japan on Wednesday afternoon in the early game and kickoff in Frisco is scheduled for 4:00PM EST and can be seen on OneSoccer.