SYDNEY, Australia – Adriana Lyon, finding the target for the third time in two games, scored twice on Tuesday as Canada beat Australia 2-1 in a women’s soccer friendly.
12th-ranked Australia pressured No. 7 Canada and were quick on the counter-attack to lead 1-0 in the first half. But the Canadians came out with renewed purpose after the break, scoring Lyon goals in the 48th and 64th minutes in front of 27,000 at the newly built Allianz Stadium.
The 29-year-old from King City, Ont., who plays her club soccer for Manchester United, has scored in three of Canada’s last four games to take her tally to 27 in 88 international games.
Mary Fowler opened the scoring for the Matildas, who were a more combative side than they were in beating Lyon 1-0 in the 11th minute at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. But they had no answer as Canada rallied in the second half.
Australia, who will host next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand, had chances in the first game but could not beat goalkeeper Keelan Sheridan. Australia coach Tony Gustavson lamented the missed opportunities, saying his side could have scored three goals on another night.
Australia converted their first chance in the third minute on Tuesday after Fowler parried Sheridan’s poor clearance. Cortnee Vine then found star striker Sam Kerr, who drew several defenders in the Canadian penalty box before cutting the ball back to an open Fowler. The 19-year-old Manchester City forward hit a low shot against Sheridan for his eighth goal in 25 internationals.
Wayne did his part after the pass, continued his run towards goal and drew another defender which opened up space for Fowler.
Canada evened it up early in the second half when Lyon scored on Christian Sinclair’s cross. The Canadian captain’s first attempt at goal deflected off a defender and back to Sinclair, who found Lyon with the second attempt.
In the 53rd minute, a goal by Nikel Prince was offside.
Junior center back Jed Rose scored Canada’s second goal, before splitting the defense with a pass, leaving Lyon behind four defenders. Lyon shot past goalkeeper Lydia Williams from the edge of the penalty box.
The 19-year-old Rose, who captained Canada at the recent FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, is making just her third senior appearance.
Quinn, nicknamed One, made a game-saving tackle in the 90th minute as Australia pressed for an equaliser. Canada then survived about seven minutes into stoppage time.
Tuesday’s match was the first football match at the 42,500-capacity, $736 million Allianz Stadium following a national rugby league match between the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs and a rugby union test between Australia and South Africa.
Australia called for a penalty in the 37th minute when Caitlin Ford came into contact with Marie Levasseur but South Korean referee Park Sejin was unmoved. Sheridan parried a weak Wein shot early as the Canadian defense broke down again.
Ford shot wide before firing a low shot into the Canadian penalty box in the 42nd minute. Canada failed to score in the first half.
Canadian coach Beau Priestman brought on Julia Grosso and Janine Beckey, replacing Desiree Scott and Levasseur, to start the second half.
The Canadians fielded a depleted roster, with their entire starting lineup absent due to injury to defenders Kadisha Buchanan, Vanessa Giles, Jade Royer and Alysha Chapman, with Ashley Lawrence unavailable for personal reasons. Forward Dan Rose is also injured.
Priestman made three changes to the starting 11 with Scott, Levasseur and Jade Rose replacing Grosso, Becky and Sora Yaka. Fullback Bianca St Georges, who impressed in Brisbane, kept her place to earn her fifth cap.
Priestman featured only four starters from the 2021 Olympic final in Tokyo at the start of the 11 on Tuesday: Sinclair, Scott, Prince and Jesse Fleming.
Priestman continued with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Fleming and Scott in front of the back four with Prince, Sinclair and Lyon behind striker Jordyn Huytma.
Sinclair, the world’s all-time leading goalscorer with 190, moved into second place behind USA’s Carli Lloyd on the all-time world goalscoring list with 317 caps. Former American international Christian Lilly leads the way with 354 appearances.
On Tuesday, Canada’s 11 starters combined for 967 caps, with Sinclair, Scott and Fleming combined for 607.
Australia also lost players.
Allianz Stadium and Suncorp Stadium will both host matches at next year’s World Cup, which kicks off in July at 10 stadiums across nine host cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Canada will learn their way into the 32-nation tournament during the draw in Auckland in October.
The Matildas were beaten 1-0 by Sweden in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics last summer and finished fourth after losing 1-0 to the United States in the bronze medal game. Canada won the gold, edging Sweden 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The games in Australia were Canada’s first since July when they qualified for the World Cup by finishing second to the top-ranked Americans at the CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico.
Canada improved to 8-2-3 in 2022, beating No. 8 Spain 1-0 at the Arnold Clark Cup in February and the U.S. 1-0 at the CONCACAF W Championship. Canada also leads the all-time series with Australia 8-7-3.
Priestman said before the game that he hoped the Canadian women would play again in October and November, possibly in friendlies overseas.