Lyon's strike leads Canada to defeat Brazil in women's soccer friendly

Lyon’s strike leads Canada to defeat Brazil in women’s soccer friendly

Adriana Leon’s brilliant goal gave Canada a 2-1 win over Brazil in a women’s soccer friendly on Friday, extending Canada’s women’s winning streak to five games.

The seventh-seeded Canadians have now won nine of their last 10 and are 11-2-3 in 2022 with losses to the top-seeded Americans (1-0 in the CONCACAF W Championship final in July) and No. 6 Spain (1-0 in Arnold Clark Cup in February).

Ninth-ranked Brazil have won 10 in a row, outscoring their opponents 34-1, with six of those victories coming at the Copa America championship in July. Brazil had not lost since a 3-1 decision to Sweden on June 28.

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Canada and Brazil play again on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.

Shelina Zadorski also scored for Canada at the Estadio Urbano Caldeira, also known as Villa Belmeiro – the home and one-time home of Santos FC.

Debenha responded for Brazil, who trailed 2-1 at the break but came away with a goal to open the second half. Canadian coach Bev Priestman sent some experience from her bench to steady the ship.

Canada’s first two goals came on a well-drilled set piece.

Zadorski headed home Ashley Lawrence’s cross in the 22nd minute after Christian Sinclair’s header was deflected off the crossbar by Brazil keeper Lorena.

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It was the Spurs defender’s fourth goal in 86 appearances for Canada.

Lyon made it 2-0 in the 29th minute with a wonderful header from Jesse Fleming’s corner. Sinclair headed the ball and Lyon swung her left foot, firing a low shot home for her 28th goal for Canada – and her fifth in her last seven games.

Brazil scored a goal in the 33rd minute by Debenha. After a Canadian turnover, Brazil drove toward the Canadian goal and Caroline slipped the ball past Bianca St. Georges into Debenha’s path. The star Brazilian forward used his ankle, perhaps with a slight shoulder, to chest the ball in front and then flick it past goalkeeper Kellyn Sheridan.

Canada improved to 9-9-9 against Brazil since they first met in 1996.

Their last meeting was at the Tokyo Olympics where the Canadians won 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the quarter-final match ended 0-0.

Canada also defeated Brazil 2-1 in the bronze medal game at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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As in recent international windows, Priestman was missing players.

Janine Beckey (Portland), Vanessa Gilles (Olympic Lyonnais, France), Dean Rose (Reading, England), Elisha Chapman (Houston Dash) and college players Sammy Ojo and Zoe Burns (USC), Jade Rose (Harvard) and Jade Royer (University of Michigan) Not all available.

Sinclair, Lawrence and Gabriel Karl, missing in an October window that saw wins over No. 29 Morocco (4-0) and No. 76 Argentina (2-0), return for the Brazil games. Canada won a pair of friendlies in Australia in September (1-0 and 2-1).

Sheridan started in goal behind Lawrence, Kadisha Buchanan, Zadorski and St. Georges. Fleming and Julia Grosso formed a deep midfield pairing with Evelyn Wiens behind Nicole Prince, Sinclair and Lyon.

Canada’s starting 11 had 1,028 caps between them, including 318 for the 39-year-old Sinclair.

Wiens went close in the ninth minute after Fleming’s penalty. He went past the keeper but the angle of the goal was too tight when he got the ball.

Sheridan was called into action in the 14th minute, stopping a shot by Arri after the Brazilian attacked from the left. Arie forced another save later in the half.

Debenha was on top after a curling free-kick in the 45th minute when Buchanan was cautioned for holding down Brazilian Adriana outside the box. Seconds later, Lorena stopped a Sinclair shot that deflected off a defender.

Jordin Huytma and Karl started the second half for Canada. Desiree Scott, Chloe Lacasse and Sophie Schmidt followed later in the half.

17-year-old Amanda Allen won her first senior cap off the bench in the 71st minute.

Sheridan needed to deny a low cross in the 54th minute as Canada’s defense was breached. Minutes later, the Canadian keeper had to rise high to deflect another long-range rocket from Ari and Canada tried to clear the ball for the next corner.

Sheridan needed treatment in the 72nd minute after a Brazilian stepped on her arm as the pair went after the ball.

Hetma went down in the penalty box in the 82nd minute after tangling with Brazil’s Fernanda, but there was no shot.

The 41st-ranked Canadian men were in action earlier in the day, competing to a 2-2 draw with No. 85 Bahrain in World Cup practice in Manama. Canada has lost some of its best talent, European clubs are still in action.

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