CHINGQONG, China – Canada ‘s women’s national team fell 0:2 to China PR in an international friendly match. The match was played in front of 23,000 fans at the Olympic Sports Center in Yongchuan District, Chongqing .
"Unfortunately, we got scored on when we were playing very well and getting lots of chances," said Canadian national head coach Carolina Morace. "It was unfortunate."
China PR’s Han Duan and Bi Yan were the goal scorers for the host nation, with one goal scored in each half.
Canada’s starting XI featured Erin McLeod in goal, Vanessa Legault-Cordisco at right back, Candace Chapman and Lexi Marton at centre back, Marie-Eve Nault at left back, Sari Raber, Carmelina Moscato and Chelsea Stewart from right to left at midfield, and Melissa Tancredi, Brooke McCalla and captain Christine Sinclair from right to left up front. Both Legault-Cordisco and McCalla were making their international debuts.
China PR’s starting XI featured Zhang Yanru in goal, Liu Huana at right back, Yuan Fan and Weng Xinzhi at centre back, Li Danyang at left back, Pang Fengyue at right midfield, Zhang Na and captain Bi Yan at centre midfield, Sun Ling at left midfield, and Xu Yuan and Han Duan up front.
Under the loud roar with plenty of flags waving them on, China PR got off to a good start and even tried its first shot on goal within three minutes. Canada was equal to the task and won an early corner kick in the seventh minute.
Then in the 17th minute, China PR got on the board when Han headed home and centering pass from the left. It was China PR 1, Canada 0.
Canada came right back, with Sinclair leading the charge into the Chinese box. China PR held its grown, but a few minutes later Canada came back and won corner kicks in the 22nd and 25th minutes.
Ten minutes later, Canada was buzzing again. It was Sinclair pushing Canada forward and getting the ball into the opponent’s end. In the 41st minute, Canada created a good chance as Tancredi and Sinclair combined to cross the ball into the Chinese box. China PR was back, however, to stop Canada ‘s Raber before she could get a shot.
Canada opened the second half on the attack, creating chances in an effort to score the equaliser. It started with an immediate change before the whistle as Stewart came off for midfielder Sophie Schmidt in the 46th minute. Canada would make its second substitution 12 minutes later as Tancredi came off in favour of debutan Alysha Bonnick.
"I was very pleased with a lot of our younger players," said Morace. "We had three players that made their first international appearance."
China PR made three substitutions in a two-minute span. Pang, Sun and Han all came off in favour of Lou Jiahui, Zhang Rui and Ma Jun. Just six minutes later in the 65th minute, Bi Yan made it 2-0 after she knocked in the cross from a corner kick.
It was China PR’s first chance in the half, a quick turn of events that stopped Canada ‘s mounting offence from the previous 20 minutes.
From there, Canada would not find its way back, although it continued to create chances. Canada made two more substitutions before the final whistle, replacing McCalla for Shannon Woeller in the 76th minute and Legault-Cordisco for Caley Miskimmin in the 86th minute.
China PR also had two more substitutions after it went up 2-0. Zhang Na came off in favour of Ma Zixiang in the 69th minute and Liu in favour of Jin Xiaomei in the 77th minute.
China PR then closed out the match for a 2:0 victory, winning the applause of the home crowd.
"The Chinese team is a very good technical and fast team," said Morace. "I believe it will do very well in the (AFC) qualification phase for the FIFA Women’s World Cup."
Canada , whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, is now five wins and one loss this 2010 season. The team is currently preparing for the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, with the schedule and venue yet to be announced (although expected for late October). Canada will announce the rest of its international schedule this 11 May in Vancouver .
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