Tag Archives: friendly

Christine Sinclair injured as Canada blanks Wales in U.K. friendly

Canada blanked Wales 3-0, but lost captain Christine Sinclair to an injury in the first half of a soccer friendly Friday.

Sinclair, playing her first game for Canada in more than a year, had to leave two-thirds of the way through the first half after contact with a Welsh player with Canada leading 1-0.

The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., was clearly in pain as she lay on the ground but hobbled off the field under her own power in the 32nd minute, holding one of her boots.

There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.

Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens and Jessie Fleming scored for Canada at Leckwith Stadium as coach Bev Priestman got the offence she has been looking for. Canada had scored just three goals in its previous seven matches (1-4-2).

It marked the first time the Canadian women had scored three goals or more since Feb. 1, 2020, when they blanked Jamaica 9-0 in Olympic qualifying play.

Canada plays No. 6 England Tuesday

Canada is ranked eighth in the world, compared to No. 31 for Wales. The two teams had met just once before, with a teenage Sinclair scoring twice in a 4-0 win at the 2002 Algarve Cup.

Canada heads 235 kilometres northeast next to Stoke-on-Trent for a game Tuesday against No. 6 England.

Canada turned its early superiority into a goal in the 25th minute with Quinn, who goes by one name, playing provider. Taking advantage of a poor clearance, the midfielder sliced open the Welsh defence with a superb looping ball from inside her own half that put Rose in all alone. The University of Florida forward smashed a high shot home for her 10th international goal.

Viens, who had replaced the injured Sinclair, made it 2-0 in the 58th minute with a nice touch at the near post to knock in a Janine Beckie cross for her first for Canada in her fourth appearance.

Fleming made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute, curling in a beautiful shot past goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan for her 11th goal in Canadian colours.

Sinclair had not played for Canada since a tournament in France in March 2020. She missed the SheBelieves Cup in February due to injury.


Sinclair, who earned her 297th cap Friday after tweeting “It’s go time” prior to kickoff, is the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 186. She almost notched No. 187 in the 21st minute after a giveaway in a dangerous position by Rachel Rowe but a diving O’Sullivan was able to palm her shot around the post.

Controlling the tempo

Priestman fielded a more experienced starting 11 than she was able to at the SheBelieves Cup, with several veterans inured or unable to take part in the Florida tournament due to quarantine issues.

Her starting 11 Friday came into the match with a combined 939 caps — compared to 604 for the SheBelieves Cup finale 2-0 loss against Brazil on Feb. 24.

Only six of the starters against Brazil were back in the 11 Friday, with Sinclair, Jordyn Huitema, Ashley Lawrence, Vanessa Gilles and Quinn joining them.

The Canadians controlled the tempo early, moving the ball around and threatening on several corners. Quinn was influential in midfield.

Wales had a chance in the 29th minute but a deflected shot proved to be easy pickings for goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Sinclair’s departure seemed to rattle Canada. Wales came on as the first half wore down, playing more in the Canadian end. Still Canada had 59 per cent of the possession in the first 45 minutes, outshooting Wales 6-4 (2-0 in shots on target).

Priestman brought on Beckie and Jayde Riviere in the 53rd minute with Beckie soon influencing play.

Wales argued unsuccessfully for a penalty in the 60th minute when Natasha Harding went down after contact with Labbe. Canada came close in the 69th but O’Sullivan tipped Viens’ powerful shot over the crossbar.

Canadian substitute Sarah Stratigakis had a good chance at the far post but was off target.

Friday’s game was the first as Wales coach for Gemma Grainger, who worked in the England setup with Priestman.

It was game No. 4 for Priestman at the Canada helm. She went 1-2-0 at the SheBelieves Cup, losing to the U.S. and Brazil and beating Argentina.

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Canada to face England in friendly in April in preparation for Olympics

Canada will play England in a women’s soccer friendly on April 13 as part of its preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Canada Soccer called it an away match but said location will be announced at a later date. The game falls during the April FIFA international window.

England is ranked sixth in the world while the Canadians are tied for No. 8 with Brazil.

The match will be a reunion of sorts.

Bev Priestman, an English native who took over the Canadian team in November, left Canada Soccer in August 2018 to become an assistant coach with England under Phil Neville.

Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson, meanwhile, left her job as Canadian youth coach and senior assistant coach last month to become an assistant coach job with the English women.

Canada is 6-7-0 all-time against England. The Canadians won the last meeting between the two, in April 2019 in Manchester, England, on the strength of a Christine Sinclair goal in the 80th minute.

That 1-0 win avenged a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to the Lionesses in Vancouver at the 2015 World Cup.

Canada has won two of their last three meetings but lost four straight to the English prior to that. The teams first met in June 1995 in Helsingborg, Sweden, in the World Cup debut for both. England won 3-2.

Return to the pitch

The Canadian women return to action later this month at the four-country SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. Canada opens Feb. 18 against the top-ranked U.S before facing No. 31 Argentina on Feb. 21 and No. 8 Brazil on Feb. 24.

Canada last played March 10, 2020, when it tied Brazil 2-2 at an international tournament in France.

A growing number of Canadians now play in the FA Women’s Super League in England. They include Janine Beckie (Manchester City), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), Rylee Foster (Liverpool), Adriana Leon (West Ham) and Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham).

The Canadian women won bronze at the last two Olympics. England will be part of a Great Britain entry in the Olympic soccer tournament slated to run July 21 to Aug. 6.

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Set-piece goal helps Iceland edge Canada in international soccer friendly

Iceland rode a first-half set-piece goal to defeat Canada 1-0 Wednesday in an international soccer friendly.

Holmar Eyjolfsson scored for 39th-ranked Iceland, which took a few valuable FIFA ranking points off No. 73 Canada with the win. Down 1-0 at the break, the Canadians came on strong in the second half but were unable to break down Iceland.

Canada was coming off back-to-back 4-1 wins over No. 162 Barbados last week at the same venue, Orange County Great Park. Eight different players scored for Canada in those two victories.

Wednesday’s loss marked the first time Canada had been shut out since a 1-0 loss to El Salvador in October 2017. The Canadians had scored in 15 straight matches.

Canada and Iceland had met three previous times. Iceland won once with two ties.

With a population of around 350,000 — less than London, Ont. — Iceland punches above its weight in international soccer these days. It is coming off appearances in both the 2018 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.

Key players missing in action

And it proved to be a tough out despite missing some top players, like Canada, given Wednesday’s match fell outside a FIFA international window.

Canada was without Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Germany) and Jonathan David (KAA Gent, Belgium), among others. Iceland was missing the likes of captain Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton, England), Birkir Bjarnason (Al-Arabi, Qatar) and Ari Freyr Skulason (KV Oostende, Belgium).

Montreal Impact midfielder Samuel Piette captained Canada.

Maxime Crepeau started in goal behind a backline of Samuel Adekugbe, Amer Didic, Kamal Miller and Richie Laryea. Piette, Jonathan Osorio, Liam Fraser and Charles-Andreas Brym patrolled the midfield with Tosaint Ricketts and Tesho Akindele up front.

The starting 11 went into the match with a combined 186 caps. Ricketts (60), Piette (48) and Osorio (33) accounted for 141 of those. Six of the starters had five or less caps and the Canadian back four numbered 20 caps.

Iceland threatened first on a set piece, only to see Crepeau make the save with his foot in the eighth minute. Piette had a half-chance in the 12th-minute but his shot went wide.

Iceland came close in the 20th minute but a shot deflected just wide. Iceland scored on the ensuing corner kick a minute later with Eyjolfsson, who plays for Bulgaria’s Levski Sofia, knocking the ball in at the far post after Crepeau was unable to get to the ball through traffic.

Hoskuldur Gunnlaugsson’s shot flashed just wide in the 56th minute.

Zorhan Bassong, a 20-year-old who plays in Belgium for Cercle Brugge KSV, came in for Laryea to start the second half. Teenage forward Jayden Nelson was introduced

Canada started strongly after the break with Osorio putting a side-volley on target in the 48th minute but it went straight at goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

The game had a particular Iceland flavour in the 60th minute when Kjartan Finnbogason was replaced by Kristjan Finnbogason.

Ricketts put the ball in the back of the net in the 68th minute but the offside flag went up.

Teenager Jayden Nelson came on for Akindele in the 75th minute. A minute later, Crepeau was forced into action with a fine fingertip save on a low shot. Fullback Ashtone Morgan came on in the 80th minute for Adekugbe.


Theo Bair came on in the 90th minute for Canada.

The Canadians are preparing for the start of World Cup qualifying later this year. Iceland is gearing up for a Euro 2020 playoff against Romania in March.

World Cup implications

Canada, currently seventh among CONCACAF countries, is chasing sixth-place El Salvador in the FIFA rankings.

The top six CONCACAF teams after the June international window qualify for the Hex, the most direct route of World Cup qualifying out of the region that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. The top three finishers in the Hex round qualify for Qatar 2022.

Canada started the year with 1,331.2 points, 15 points behind El Salvador. Canada added 2.26 rating points with the pair of wins over Barbados.

Canada Soccer estimated a win over Iceland would be worth another 3.1 points for Canada. Instead the Canadians will leak a few points.

Coincidentally Iceland plays El Salvador on Sunday. But the game is considered a training match so there will be no FIFA points at stake.

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Canadian men’s soccer team beats Barbados in international friendly

The Canadian men’s national team scored three first-half goals on their way to defeating Barbados 4-1 on Tuesday in an international friendly.

Tosaint Ricketts opened the scoring for Canada in the seventh minute, and Tesho Akindele doubled the lead in the 34th.

Armando Lashley got one back on a penalty in the 36th for Barbados only for Jonathan Osorio to score late in the half. Theo Bair added one more goal for Canada in the 77th

The Canadians, ranked 73rd, were playing the first of three friendly matches in Irvine, Calif., at Orange County Great Park.

“The boys responded well tonight as we haven’t had long together, but the organization and intensity was evident,” said Canada coach John Herdman.

“I was particularly happy with the fluidity in the attacking third and our commitment to the high press given that many players are coming off pre-season. It was a night in which we were able to build depth in our squad and take a result to start the year on a positive note.”


Canada face No. 162 Barbados again on Friday before playing No. 39 Iceland Jan. 15.

The Canadians are chasing valuable FIFA ranking points in a bid to crack the top six in CONCACAF and make the Hex round of World Cup qualifying, the most direct route to Qatar 2022 out of the region that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Canada is chasing No. 69 El Salvador, which currently stands sixth in CONCACAF.

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De Grasse, Brown counting on friendly rivalry to push both to 200m podium

They may not speak on a daily or weekly basis, but Aaron Brown says he’s friends with fellow Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse. They grew up together in Toronto, share the same goals on the track and a year ago were preparing to battle for bragging rights in the same fantasy basketball league.

“There’s a little bit of trash talk with that,” Brown, the reigning national champion in the 100 and 200 metres, told CBC Sports back in the spring. “We’re not going to get into specifics because I didn’t do so well. Neither one of us made the playoffs.”

Brown and De Grasse, who already boasts a bronze medal at this year’s track and field world championships, hope their luck changes when they go head-to-head in Tuesday’s 200 final at 3:40 p.m. ET in Doha, Qatar.

Tuesday afternoon will mark the first time two Canadians share the track in a world 200 final after De Grasse and Brown made similar history in the 100 on the weekend.

“Oh, yeah, that’s great,” De Grasse told CBC Sports’ Scott Russell when asked if having Brown in the 200 final mattered to him. “Two Canadians in the 200-metre final … that feels pretty good. We’re going to bring our ‘A’ game and hopefully both of us will get on the [medal] podium.”

With a healthy lead in his semifinal heat, De Grasse slowed before crossing the line in 20.08 seconds on Monday to qualify fifth for the eight-man final at Khalifa International Stadium. Brown ran 20.20 in the first of three heats and had to wait before learning he qualified seventh.

The little moments when you line up against each other [in the 100 or 200 metres] you definitely want to take each other’s head off. We’re enemies for those 10 or 20 seconds.— Aaron Brown on going head-to-head with fellow Canadian Andre De Grasse

Brown said he and De Grasse, whom he recruited to attend the University of Southern California a few years back, want to do well for their country. De Grasse won three medals in his 2016 Olympic debut, including silver in the 200, while Brown won 4×100 relay bronze with De Grasse at those Summer Games in Rio.

WATCH | Andre De Grasse posts convincing win in semifinal heat:

Canada’s Andre De Grasse finishes 1st in his semifinal with a time of 20.08. 2:04
“It’s like being friends with your brother on the track,” Brown said of running against De Grasse. “You don’t want to beat anybody more than your brother. You want to have the bragging rights.

“We’re cool and good friends off the track but the little moments when you line up against each other [in the 100 or 200], you definitely want to take each other’s head off. We’re enemies for those 10 or 20 seconds.”

De Grasse running smart, says Bailey

De Grasse gained the upper hand in Saturday’s 100 final as Brown was eighth, giving the Markham, Ont., sprinter a 2-1 edge in the event this season. Entering Tuesday, De Grasse also holds a 2-1 advantage for 2019 in the 200, with a third-place finish to Brown’s fourth at the Sept. 6 Diamond League Final their most recent head-to-head meeting.

CBC Sports analyst Donovan Bailey said De Grasse is running smart and loves the confidence and swagger he has shown in Doha after being hampered by hamstring injuries in 2017 and 2018. The 24-year-old has raced a combined six times in a world championship or Olympic final and won six medals.

“There are certain athletes that peak at the highest level,” said Bailey, who won Olympic gold in the 100 in 1996. “I loved the highest level and competition and Andre seems to have taken a page out of my book here.”

Bailey added it will be interesting to watch the last 50 metres of Tuesday’s final to see if gold-medal favourite Noah Lyles of the United States “can hold on” and win gold because “Andre’s going to be coming.”

Bailey noted Brown appears tentative out of the starting blocks and off the corner in the 200 while noting the 27-year-old did relax in the final metres on Monday.

“He has to potentially jump out in front [of the field] coming out of the blocks [on Tuesday] and hopefully run a way better corner than [Monday and in Sunday’s heats],” said Bailey.

WATCH | Brown: ‘I just gotta dig deep and fight. Everybody’s tired’:

Canada’s Aaron Brown reflects on his performance in the 200m semifinals. 0:46

Lyles, the three-time reigning Diamond League champion and 2019 U.S. gold medallist in the 200, ran into a slight headwind to post a season world-leading 19.50 in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 5 and went 19.86 in Monday’s semifinal heats.

WATCH | Noah Lyles runs world-leading time of 19.50 seconds:

Noah Lyles is the 4th fastest man to run the 200 metres after running a time of 19.50 in the Diamond League event from Lausanne. 2:54

In February, the 22-year-old decided to focus solely on the 200 at world championships in hopes of shattering sprint legend Usain Bolt’s 19.19 world record in Doha.

“It’s his race to lose,” said Bailey of Lyles, who has lost only one race in the 200 since 2016.

Fellow American Christian Coleman pulled out of Sunday’s 200 preliminaries with body soreness after setting a 9.76 personal best in the 100. Coleman, who could return for the 4×100, is ranked 12th in the world in the 200.

Reigning 200 world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey is a medal contender Tuesday along with Alex Quinonez of Ecuador, the only man besides Lyles to dip under 20 seconds in the semifinal heats at 19.95. The 30-year-old has four victories this season, including a Pan Am title, and 10 podium finishes in 13 races.

“Not a lot of people are talking about him,” Bailey said of Quinonez. “This is his first time in the big show as a medal contender. He’s been consistent all year and ran a pretty good semifinal with Lyles.”

CBC Sports has exclusive live coverage of the 2019 World Track & Field Championships from Sept. 27-Oct. 6. Visit the stream and broadcast schedule, You can also add the complete event schedule to your calendar.

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Watch Canada take on New Zealand in FIBA basketball friendly

Click on the video player above on Wednesday at 5:25 a.m. ET to watch the Canadian men’s basketball team battle New Zealand in a FIBA basketball friendly in Sydney, Australia.

Canada is preparing for the Basketball World Cup, which starts Aug. 31. The Canadians defeated New Zealand 122-88 on Tuesday. Last week, they split a pair of games against Australia.

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Watch Canada take on Australia in FIBA basketball friendly

Click on the video player above on Friday at 5:25 a.m. ET to watch the Canadian men’s basketball team battle Australia in a FIBA basketball friendly from Perth. 

Return Saturday at 5:25 a.m. ET to watch the two teams wrap up their series. 

Streaming schedule

Saturday, Aug. 17 at 5:25 a.m. ET – Australian Boomers vs. Canada Basketball – RAC Arena, Perth

Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 5:25 a.m. ET – Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – Quaycentre, Sydney

Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 5:25 a.m. ET – Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – Quaycentre, Sydney

For additional coverage, tune into Road to the Olympic Games on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. 

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Sophie Schmidt scores winner as Canada beats Nigeria in soccer friendly

Janine Beckie and substitute Sophie Schmidt scored early in the second half to lift Canada to a 2-1 win over Nigeria in a women’s soccer friendly Monday.

Jayde Riviere, an 18-year-old from Markham, Ont., making her first start and third appearance for Canada, set up both goals with crosses.

Desire Oparanozie had given Nigeria a first-half lead in the World Cup warmup at Pinatar Arena.

Fifth-ranked Canada, which defeated No. 3 England 1-0 last Friday, improved its record to 4-0-2 in 2019.

Canada chose No. 38 Nigeria as an opponent to see an African team in action. Canada opens World Cup play in June in France against No. 46 Cameroon before facing No. 19 New Zealand and the eighth-ranked Netherlands.

Nigeria, which has won the CAF African Cup of Nations nine times, has qualified for all eight editions of the World Cup. The Super Falcons are led by former Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby.

Coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller made four changes from the starting lineup that beat England. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, Riviere, Julia Gross and Jordyn Huitema slotted in for Stephanie Labbe, Allysha Chapman, Sophie Schmidt and captain Christine Sinclair.

Midfielder Desiree Scott, winning her 141st cap, captained Canada. Defender Shelina Zadorsky, a 26-year-old from London, Ont., who plays for the Orlando Pride, earned her 50th cap.

“It definitely was a battle. They gave us some physical challenges but I think we stood up to it. The most important thing was we showed composure, after going 1-0 down, it’s about keeping our structures right and keeping our composure. The second half was about us having more players in the penalty area and we definitely became more dangerous,” said Heiner-Moller. “This camp was all about partnership and sharpening the tools. It’s about finding more than one player to each position and I think we solved that. It’s a great group, in total, a great camp and two great wins.”

On Friday, Sinclair scored career goal No. 180 to lift Canada to a 1-0 victory over England in a women’s soccer friendly. The 35-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., is now just four goals back of retired American Abby Wambach’s world record of 184.

WATCH | Christine Sinclair scores 180th international goal:

The Canadian star scored the lone goal in her team’s 1-0 win over England in a friendly match on Friday. 1:22

Few chances early

Chances were rare early in the first half. Nigeria’s Rita Chikwelu, taking advantage of a poor pass from Kadeisha Buchanan, put a long-range shot on goal in the 25th minute but it went straight at McLeod.

Nigeria went ahead in the 26th minute when Uchenna Kanu outdistanced two Canadians and found Oparanozie behind the defence. Buchanan raced back but Oparanozie put on the brakes and the sliding Canadian went past her. Oparanozie, who plays in France for Guingamp, then curled a low shot past McLeod and did a victory dance.

It was the first goal Canada had conceded in 2019 after five clean sheets.

Sinclair, Schmidt and goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo came in to start the second half, replacing Huitema, Grosso and McLeod.

Beckie tied it up early in 47th minute, acrobatically swinging a leg just outside the six-yard box to hammer home a Riviere cross. The ball went just over Sinclair’s head with three defenders caught out of position as Beckie pounced on the ball for her 25th international goal.

Riviere played provider again in the 53rd minute, sending in a cross for an unmarked Schmidt to head into the lower corner of the net for her 19th goal.

Nigeria was missing star forward Asisat Oshoala, a three-time African player of the year currently on loan to Barcelona from China’s Dalian Quanjian.

Canada raised its record to 1-1-1 against the Nigerians. Their last meeting was at the 2011 World Cup in Germany, where Nigeria won 1-0 in a meaningless pool game given both teams had already missed out on the advancing to the knockout round.

Sinclair, Schmidt and Scott were the only Canadian players on Monday’s roster who had seen action against Nigeria in the past.

Last Friday, Sinclair scored career goal No. 180 as Canada dispatched England at Manchester’s Academy Stadium. The 35-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., is now just four goals back of retired American Abby Wambach’s world record of 184.

Canada will play a pre-tournament match against Mexico in Toronto on May 18.

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Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Have Friendly Church Outing Following Her Dating News

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck seem to be adjusting to their new normal just fine! The former spouses stepped out together for church on Sunday in what has become a regular part of their family’s routine. 

Garner and Affleck appeared friendly, chatting after the service, with Affleck even putting his hand on Garner’s shoulder in a comfortable exchange. 

Garner, 46, wore grey slacks and a black sweater with her hair pulled back in a loose bun. Affleck, 46, donned a plaid button-down shirt and jeans. 

This isn’t the first time they’ve been spotted out together recently. Last week both Garner and Affleck attended Game 4 of the World Series. 

Jennifer Garner

GC Images

The parents of Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6, finalized their divorce in October after three years of separation. 

Though they have each moved on romantically, Affleck and Garner have remained close, with Garner driving her ex to a rehab facility earlier this year. 

The Batman star is continuing treatment for alcohol addiction, while returning to his everyday life and career. 

A source recently confirmed to ET that Garner is dating businessman John Miller.

“They went for romantic dinners far out of town or at his home,” a source told ET. “He is warm, fun and incredibly smart. He is a real success in the business world and has no interest being in the entertainment industry.” 

Ben Affleck

GC Images

Affleck, meanwhile, ended his brief romance with Playboy model, Shauna Sexton, in October, due in part to Garner’s influence.

“Close friends were honest with him about being in a relationship with someone who was only 22 years old,” a source told ET at the time. “Jen’s opinion truly still matters to Ben. Jen tried to be supportive of his relationship with Lindsay [Shookus] but she couldn’t get behind this.” 

For more from Affleck and Garner, watch the clip below: 

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Canada's women drop friendly to France

Eugenie Le Sommer scored on a penalty kick in the 10th minute and France beat Canada 1-0 on Monday in an international friendly.

Le Sommer’s goal was one of two penalties in the match, with a second-half shot by Amandine Henry stopped by Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Both teams created several chances in the first half, with France outnumbering Canada on shots, missing the target on several, but demonstrating attacking ability as they secured a few dangerous crosses into Canada’s box.

“I think we played on France’s terms in the first half,” said head coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller of the Canadians’ effort. “We went down a goal very early in the half and they are a very good transitional team. We had some trouble securing the ball on the transition, but also giving it away when attacking.

“Things definitely changed after half time and I think we had a much better second half.”

Canada will next play Germany at home in Hamilton on June 10. Canada, the two-time Olympic bronze medal winners will welcome the reigning Olympic champions to Tim Hortons Field for the Sunday afternoon match.

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