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Tipping the First Domino: Canada beat China in Canada 2015 Opener

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They need a penalty, and didn't always look convincing but three points meant Canada got off on the right footing on home soil at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

It will be easier from here on out. Canada opened the 2015 Women's World Cup with a shaky 1-0 victory over China, but it was a victory nonetheless.

Christine Sinclair scored on a questionable late penalty to make sure the host nation grabbed all of the points on the table.

Sinclair may be only a shadow of the player she was in 2012, but that doesn't mean she can't still be an influential player in this tournament. A penalty is a penalty, but you still need to be cold blooded to finish like that in a pressure charged situation.

It wasn't that Canada didn't deserve the victory, they had a number of chances and generally looked to be a better team than China. But against a top team it wouldn't have done them any good.

Thankfully, this result means it will likely be the quarterfinals before Canada has to face one of the tournament's elite. By then they will be more used to playing in front of a Canadian crowd that expects only the best.

What a crowd it was, the record for biggest crowd to watch a Canadian national team sport ever. They sounded like it too, urging Canada throughout the game even though it seemed like they would never find a breakthrough.

From open play they likely wouldn't have as they spent periods of the game out of ideas and just trying to get as many opportunities on net as possible from any distance.

Was it the penalty the right call? Probably, there was definitely an elbow to Adriana Leon's face even if it wasn't intentional. It wasn't surefire, but for once the Canadian crowd may have actually gotten a call out of a referee, what a concept.

The Canadian team did certainly look jittery at many points as can be expected from a group with such high expectations on them. This was especially true of their backline who made several poor passes despite little pressure from the Chinese team.

These shaky passes forced Erin McLeod to have a better game than she should have had to in the Canadian net, but at least it was a sign that the Canadian keeper is ready if the play in front of her isn't up to standard.

China came close on a couple of occasions as well, including a freekick that really could not have come any closer, hitting the underside of the bar before deflecting out off of the post.

Maybe it is an early sign that there is a bit of destiny behind this Canadian team as they try to do the improbable and win on home soil.

Canada won't be looking to test the limits of destiny again, however, when they play New Zealand on Thursday. They will want to build off of this dramatic win and be more convincing in their next game.

It's not unlikely that they will, putting this game behind them is huge for the confidence of the team. Their first test has been passed, and now they can go into the others with a new level of self-belief.

Nobody is going to judge this Canadian team's performance until they have competed in the knockout rounds which is where they will truly make a name for themselves.

However, today's tournament opener against China was the first domino to fall, and that means Canada will have momentum going into the rest of them.