June 21st, 2024

Canadian women rally to defeat Brazil in penalty shootout at SheBelieves Cup

By The Canadian Press on April 6, 2024.

Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan (3) and Brazil's Jheniffer da Silva Cordinali Gouveia (9) go up for a head ball during the first half in a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer game, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Atlanta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Stewart

ATLANTA – Canada defeated Brazil 4-2 in a penalty shootout at the SheBelieves Cup after the game finished knotted at 1-1 after 90 minutes Saturday.

It was a second straight shootout for the Canadians, who lost the CONCACAF W Gold Cup semifinal 3-1 to the U.S. on March 6 in a shootout after extra time finished tied at 2-2.

Adriana Leon, Jade Rose, Simi Awujo and Julia Grosso scored for Canada in Saturday’s shootout. Ashley Lawrence shot high for the Canadians.

Grosso slotted home the winning spot kick, as she did in the final of the Tokyo Olympics

Cristiane and Tarciane scored for Brazil. Kailen Sheridan stopped Marta while Antonia shot wide.

Brazil brought on ‘keeper Lorena in second-half stoppage time, replacing Tai Borges for the shootout.

Canada will play the fourth-ranked U.S. in Tuesday’s final in Columbus. Brazil will face No. 7 Japan in the earlier third-place match.

The 10th-ranked Brazilians pressed hard and had the upper hand in a match that did not see the best of No. 9 Canada until late in the game with centre back Vanessa Gilles scoring to tie the contest.

Tarciane scored for Brazil, which led 1-0 at the half and should probably have had a bigger lead after coming out with intent at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Brazilian pressure translated into a string of Canadian turnovers, with the Brazilians quick to launch a counter-attack.

Brazil went ahead when American referee Tori Penso pointed to the penalty spot after Rose took a Brazilian down. Tarciane, a 20-year-old centre back, stepped up and hammered a shot up the middle that beat Sheridan in the 22nd minute.

The Canadians offered more in the final quarter of the game and pulled even in the 77th minute on a Gilles header off a Jessie Fleming free kick. It was her fourth goal for Canada.

In the earlier game at the same venue, the Americans recovered from conceding a goal in the first minute to beat Japan 2-1 on a 77th-minute Lindsay Horan penalty before 50,644, the largest-ever crowd for a U.S women’s friendly on home soil.

Jaedyn Shaw, a 19-year-old midfielder/forward, tied it 1-1 with a long-distance strike in the 21st, becoming the first U.S. woman to score in her first five career starts.

Shaw now has seven goals in 11 appearances. Christen Press is the only U.S. woman with more goals through 11 games (eight).

While Canada coach Bev Priestman had veterans Janine Beckie and Desiree Scott back in the fold from lengthy absences, her injury list grew ahead of kickoff.

Goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx was the latest to drop out of the squad, following Quinn (who goes by one name) and Olivia Smith who were sidelined on the eve of the tournament by a concussion and a knee knock, respectively.

Sydney Collins, Nichelle Prince and Jayde Riviere were ruled out earlier due to injury.

Despite the injuries, the Canadian starting 11 went into the match with a combined 920 caps. Some 615 of those came from Kadeisha Buchanan, Lawrence, Leon, Fleming and Beckie.

Both Beckie and Scott have joined Canada at recent camps, not seeing action but continuing their “return to play” protocols.

Beckie won cap No. 102 in her first start for Canada since Feb. 22, 2023, in a 3-0 loss to Japan at last year’s SheBelieves Cup.

The 29-year-old Beckie, who came in with 36 goals in 101 appearances for Canada, underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee after going down in a Portland Thorns pre-season game in March 2023.

The 36-year-old Scott, who has 185 caps, did not get into Saturday’s game.

The Brazilians forced a string of turnovers and, thanks to Canadian fouls, launched several free kicks into the Canada penalty box in the first half.

Brazil appealed for an early penalty call, arguing the ball had struck Buchanan’s hand. It was not given although replays suggested the Brazilians may have had a case.

Playing at left wingback, Beckie had two early chances, including a header that flashed just wide in the 13th minute after some good work by Deanne Rose. The earlier chance saw her shot compromised after a couple of errant touches.

Brazilian captain Antonia’s hard-hit volley went wide in the 32 minute.

Awujo came on at the half for Beckie. And the 20-year-old Awujo, who grew up in Atlanta, hit the goalpost with a shot in the 56th minute.

Brazil came close in the 60th with Yasmim unable to beat Sheridan from close range.

Bianca St-Georges, Grosso and Evelyne Viens also came on for Canada as the second half wore on. Brazilian ‘keeper Tai Borges had a quiet afternoon. Marta came on for Brazil in the 80th minute.

Canada came into Saturday’s game with an 11-11-9 all-time record against Brazil. The teams last met in a pair of friendlies in October with Brazil winning 1-0 in Montreal and Canada winning 2-0 in Halifax.

Canada opens defence of its Olympic crown in late July in Paris in a group with No. 3 France, No. 23 Colombia and No. 28 New Zealand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2024

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