After getting some early chances, Canada's campaign at the Yongchuan Cup/Four Nations Tournament came to a screeching halt in the foggy Chongqing night on Monday. Three goals by South Korea were too much to overcome for a young squad, which had six changes made by coach John Herdman. Nichelle Prince did get a goal back later, and Adriana Leon had a few chances at the death, but it was not to be.
South Korean striker Jeon Ga-eul stripped the Canadian defender of the ball in the 19th minute, and sent a shot high past Karina LeBlanc. Ji So-yun would add a second ten minutes later, and in the 55th minute Jung Seol-bin would lay the coup-de-grace with a strike from 25 yards out. But once again the young strikers would save Canada's blushes as second-capper Nichelle Prince would get her first senior goal. Adriana Leon had a chance and a half to put Canada closer at the death, and would have a pair of penalty shouts dismissed, but all was not to be.
The result may be hard to swallow for many, but after the game Herdman acknowledged those concerns, saying that while it wasn't the best result, with the way he is looking to develop the team with trying to integrate younger players into the squad, the final score means very little. "We've just got to progress with the way we want to play. It's probably a better performance that we put in tonight than we did against China, so I'm quite comfortable with where we're heading."
As for the new system the coach is trying to implement, the players are still steadfastly willing to embrace it. Midfielder Diana Matheson certainly wasn't discouraged by the result. "We gave up the ball in our third and they got a goal but we kept trying." She said, adding "It happened again but we didn't give up, we kept playing the new system and I think that says a lot about the team."
With the loss, the Canadians now drop to third in the standings with one match to play, finishing their travails in Southwestern China on Wednesday with a match against Norway.