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Game Thread: CanWNT 2 - 0 Mexico—2020 Olympic Qualifying

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Follow along with Jeffrey P. Nesker as Canada needs to a win or draw to avoid playing the U.S. for a spot in the Olympics

Canada women’s national team’s Desiree Scott controls the ball in the midfield
(Canada Soccer)

GAME THREAD

FT - 3 up, 3 down - Canada avoids a semi-final match-up with the USA. Next stop, Costa Rica!

90’ + 2’ - We’re into extra time. Canada doing well to hold off Mexico pressure. Then they turn on the gas and force two great saves!

86’ - WTAF. CONCACAF trying to CONCACAF us - Digitally:

80’ - Another chance for Canada. Prince cuts in from the right, shoots when there are better options.

76’ - Some fantastic build up play for Canada leads to Beckie catching a through ball that ends up skied by Quinn.

75’ - CANADA FINAL SUBSTITUTION:

73’ - MEXICO SUBSTITUTION:

71’ - Mexico getting a bunch of aimless possession. Canada is happy to bunker down.

66’ - CANADA SUBSTITUTION:

54’ - Fresh legs strikes again! Palacios with a screamer. Great stop by Labbe.

52’ - MEXICO SUBSTITUTION:

47’ - CANADA SUBSTITUTION:

46’ - We’re baaaaack.

HT - Canada 2 goals to the good!

45’ + 1’ - GOAL! CANADA 2 - 0 MEXICO Zadorsky buries a loose ball in crush around the box.

42’ - Beckie from distance and off the bar, skips off a defender, corner kick for Canada.

37’ - Mexico narrowly miss a free header off a corner. Second phase sputters to nothing amid wild gesticulations. In other news:

34’ - Because of course.

32’ - CanSoc Graphics Dept. is heat.

26’ - GOAL! CANADA! CANADA 1 - 0 MEXICO. Who else but Sincy? That’s number 186!

21’ - An ignored challenge has us fuming at WTR HQ. Shoulda been a Red.

18’ - Canada very organized on defense, but lacking killer instinct of the counter. Mexico has the first real attempt on goal.

11’ - Canada reduced to aimless passing around the back. Mexico pressing hard.

8’ - YELLOW CARD - Mexico - an early caution for some aggressive play in the midfield.

6’ - Mexico with ALL the momentum here. Canada defending stoutly but the pressure is intense.

1’ - Kickoff in Southern Texas. Can Canada continue their red-hot form?

6:26PM - Anthems booming. OneSoccer feed humming. Cracked open a beer - Correction - cracked open a Stella.

6:24PM - 5 mins to kickoff. This is going to be good.


STARTING LINEUPS

Canada:

Mexico:


PREVIEW (Courtesy Michael Singh)

The Canadian women’s national team finish off round-robin action at the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday afternoon when they take on North American rivals Mexico in a pivotal showdown for the top spot in Group B.

Canada (2-0) hasn’t really been tested yet at the tournament, winning their first match against St. Kitts and Nevis 11-0 before defeating Jamaica 9-0, however, the No. 27-ranked Mexican side (2-0) always pose a threat, despite history swaying heavily in the red-and-white’s favour.

Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s team, who are ranked No. 8 in the world, are 21-1-2 all-time against Mexico and are undefeated in their last 13 matches (11-0-2). If Canada wants to avoid a semifinal showdown with the always-dangerous United States, they’ll need to continue that streak with either a win or a draw on Tuesday evening.

Mexico, meanwhile, has also won both of their matches, getting past Jamaica 1-0 to open the tournament followed by a comfortable 6-0 win over St. Kitts.

And as some of the Canadian players note, the team in red, white, and green have been in-form during early stages the tournament.

“Just like us, Mexico hasn’t given up a goal either,” said forward Janine Beckie. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game for us. And the tough thing about this tournament, is that there is a short turnaround between games.

“But we have a really deep team, we had a lot of fresh legs on the pitch in the match against Jamaica, and we will have players that are fresh and ready for the match against Mexico.”

Unlike their previous two matches, where Canada was resting players, coach Heiner-Moller expects his full roster to be fit and available on Tuesday.

That’s a good sign for the Canadian side who have been pouring in goals to begin the tournament. In fact, there have been eight different goal scorers to find the back of the net, so don’t expect to for Heiner-Moller to be short of attacking options off the bench should the red-and-white find themselves in that position.

If Canada does manage to earn a result, they’ll take on No. 37 Costa Rica in the semifinal—with the winner earning a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Costa Rica are coming off a 6-0 defeat to the U.S, so it’s important that CanWNT lines up them as their next opponent instead of the Americans.


HOW TO WATCH

Credit to Canada Soccer and their TV partners who have provided more options to watch Tuesday’s match, with the game being available on SaskTel and TELUS (in addition to Rogers and OneSoccer). Kickoff is at 6:30 EST.

WTR’s Jeffrey P. Nesker will get a game thread up for this one—be sure to following along—while Benedict Rhodes will have you covered with a recap shortly following the match. This is a big one, folks.