Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canada pull off late goal win against Hungary

In front of 150 spectators in Telki, Budapest, Canada faced Hungary in one of their final preparation matches before the Women's World Cup. 

The first half was evenly matched. In the second half, however, Canada took command of the game. 

It wasn't until in 87th minute where midfielder Diana Matheson scored the game winner for Canada. Carmelina Moscato cleared the ball from the 18 yard box down the left flank where Jodi-Ann Robinson gathered the bounce and played a square ball to Chelsea Buckland who then played it to Jonelle Filigno. Jonelle turned towards goal and fed the ball to Diana Matheson who took a few controlling touches then took a low shot past the right side of Hungarian 'keeper Réka Szőcs. 

Although Canada secured the win I can't help but to be slightly worried about Canada's scoring ability of late. Hungary is ranked 30th in the world. Even though rankings have little affect on a team's performance, Canada is a much stronger team than the Hungarians. Even in the Swiss series (1-1 D; 2-1 W) and the match versus Holland (2-0 W), Canada should have scored many more goals. Having a great performance and creating numerous opportunities is good but not good enough especially against teams like Germany. 

Canada did play somewhat of a "B" team with Christine Sinclair, Candace Chapman (still out with an injury) Emily Zurrer, Marie-Eve Nault, and the likes missing from the starting line-up but that's no excuse. Canada has a deep bench and scoring shouldn't be a problem, especially against weaker teams. They've proven they don't have to rely on Sinclair to score goals now they just need to exercise it. Let's just hope they're saving all the goal scoring for the World Cup. 

On another note: Brittany Timko earned her 100th cap for Canada. She is one of 7 players to reach this milestone. Brittany has been playing for Canada for 9 years now. She made her first appearance for her country in 2002 against Japan at the Tournoi international in Limoges, France. The 25-year-old hopes to make her third World Cup roster. Brittany also served as captain for this match.

Jodi-Ann Robinson also reached a milestone today earning her 50th cap for Canada when she replaced Christina Julien in the 58th minute. Coincidentally Jodi-Ann is the all-time leader for appearances as a substitute. She broke Andrea Neil's record on May 15th with now 35 appearances off the bench. Robinson made her first appearance for Canada when she was 16 back in 2005 in a friendly versus Germany. Should Jodi-Ann be named to the final roster it will mark the second time she'll participate in a Women's World Cup.

Congratulation to both women on an incredible achievement. 

Canada starting XI:                     
                       Booth (Zurrer 46'), Moscato, Gayle, Wilkinson
                  Kyle (Stewart 46'), Matheson, Schmidt (Buckland 81') 
                     Julien (Robinson 58'), Filigno, Timko (Scott 64')

Canada's bench: 
GK: Rachelle Beanlands, Erin McLeod, Stephanie Labbe
D: Candace Chapman, Marie-Eve Nault, 
M: Kelly Parker, Nicole Setterlund, 
F: Christine Sinclair, Melissa Tancredi, Brooke McCalla, Amelia Pietrangelo, 

Hungary startin XI: 
                        Szabó, Gál, Szeitl, Megyeri (Dóra Papp 64')
     Jakabfi (Gáspár 64'), Smuczer, Rácz (Szórádi 89'), Jakab (Benkő 74')
                                Pádár, Méry (Katalin Fogl 76') 

There are 27 players in camp. Only 21 will make the Women's World Cup Roster. 18 days till kick off.

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