The Canadian women’s national team moved one step closer to qualifying for the 2020 Olympics on Tuesday evening, beating Mexico 2-0 in their final group game.
Both teams struggled to find a good chance to score in the opening stages of the match, but in the 26th minute, Canada took the lead.
Jayde Riviere, making her third start in a row for Canada, made an incredible run up the pitch from her position at right back eventually getting on the end of a pass and firing the ball across the box to Christine Sinclair.
Sinclair, who scored her record-breaking 185th international goal earlier in the tournament, and wearing commemorative boots to mark the milestone, smashed home goal number 186 to give Canada the lead.
Canada added another just before the break, as Shelina Zadorsky found the back of the net with a shot from the edge of the area. Zadorsky’s effort found its way through the crowded penalty area, and bounced into the net to double the lead.
Mexico’s best chances came after the break, but Stephanie Labbe made a couple of big saves to maintain the clean sheet, and secure a 2-0 lead.
Labbe didn’t allow a goal in the entire group stage of the tournament, as Canada won all three games by a combined score of 22-0.
“I think it’s a resilient team, we knew today coming out that we were going to have a little more adversity against Mexico, we knew that they were going to throw a little more at us and we were ready,” said Canada’s goalkeeper Labbé in a press release. “It doesn’t matter who steps in there, we had different people in the back line, different people in midfield, it doesn’t matter who’s in there, this team is resiliant and they push through this adversity.”
With the win, Canada won Group B, and as a result, will avoid Group A winners (and women’s soccer juggernaut) United States in the semi-final stage of this tournament.
Instead, Canada will face off against Group A runners-up Costa Rica on Friday in Carson, California. The two finalists qualify for the Olympic Games, so if Canada win on Friday we’ll see them in Tokyo this summer, regardless of the result in the potential final.