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Canada bests Germany as Gilles’ early header proves the difference in a 1-0 victory

The win is Canada’s first for 2022, and only the second all-time vs Germany

Canada’s Nichelle Prince battles for the ball with Germany’s Jana Feldkamp during the Arnold Clark Cup match between Canada and Germany, at Carrow Road, Norwich, England, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022.

On a blustery Sunday evening at Carrow Road in Norwich England, Canada beat the third ranked German Women’s team 1-0 to top the standings at the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup. Canada now occupies first place with a win and a draw, with a match remaining in the tournament.

Both teams were missing key pieces for this game. Germany was missing their talisman Alexandra Popp (injury) and several others including Dzsenifer Marozsan, Tabea Wasmuth, Kathrin Hendrich, and Svenja Huth (illness or Covid-19 protocols). Canada was without regular captain Christine Sinclair (personal reasons), Adriana Leon (injury), and Jordyn Huitema (undisclosed health reasons).

The game’s only goal came in the seventh minute when Canadian central defender Vanessa Gilles rose above her German counterpart Klara Buehl and headed the ball against the grain past goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. To be fair Germany’s marking on the corner was suspect, but full credit to Gilles for her excellent placement after meeting Janine Beckie’s perfectly lofted corner.

The game settled into a nervy affair with plenty of action at both ends with both teams just missing their final touches. However, as the match wore on in the second half the skilled German team often had Canada pinned in its own end. Led by the stout defending by the centre-back pairing of Gilles and Kedeisha Buchanan, Canada withstood the onslaught and preserved the clean-sheet for keeper Kailen Sheridan.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg rued her team’s missed chances but her comment that “the last pass was missing at times” was applicable to both teams this game.

Bev Priestman observed that “Overall, it wasn’t our best on the ball performance,” but in typical Canadian fashion they got the job done.

The loss was only Germany’s fourth since March 2018 while the win improved Canada’s record under Bev Priestman to 10-3-6. Both teams moved on to play their final match of the tournament at Molineux in Wolverhamption on Wednesday 23 February 2022.

Vanessa Gilles celebrates her first CanWNT goal against Germany in the Arnold Clark Cup match 20 February, 2022.
(Daniela Porcelli / Canada Soccer)

Moment of the Match: The key moment came early when Gilles met Beckie’s corner and expertly re-directed it into the German net. It was Gilles’ first ever national team goal and it stood up to be the winner.

Player of the Match: While enough cannot be said about Kadeisha Buchanan’s stalwart defence and leadership of the backline, today’s day belonged to centre-back partner Vanessa Gilles. Her defensive steadiness matched Buchanan and her goal proved to be the difference in the match.

UP NEXT: Canada vs. Spain | Wednesday, Feb. 23rd | 2:30 pm ET | TSN