LARNAKA, Cyprus — Sophie Schmidt’s first two-goal game at the international "A" level was the difference in a 5:1 victory over Scotland today. Deadlocked at 1-1, Schmidt scored on either side of the break to pull Canada away with an eventual four-goal spread. The 28 February victory puts Canada in first place of Group B after the opening day of the 2012 Cyprus Women’s Cup.
Kelly Parker opened the scoring while Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi added insurance goals after the Schmidt brace. Jane Ross scored the lone goal for Scotland. Canada’s Player of the Match was Desiree Scott.
Canada opened quickly, with Parker scoring her second goal of the season in just the sixth minute of play. Coming in from the right side, Rhian Wilkinson centred the ball up top to Parker who placed her shot above the out-of-position goalkeeper (Scotland captain Gemma Fay) and below the crossbar for a 1-0 lead.
Just seven minutes later, however, Scotland had the equaliser after Canada failed to clear the ball. A Scotland shot was pushed away by Canada’s goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé, but into the path of Ross who made no mistake in her finish.
In the 36th minute, Canada regained control of the match after Schmidt scored her first of two goals on the night. With a trio of Canadians buzzing down the right side, Wilkinson finally found the passage to penetrate the box and pass the ball into the centre to a marked Schmidt. Schmidt stayed on her feet and got the shot away for a 2-1 lead.
Six minutes after the restart, Schmidt made it 3-1 after a pass from captain Sinclair. After Parker ran the ball up the middle, Sinclair took over and made the pass to Schmidt down the left side. Schmidt fired a low shot that beat Fay on the short side.
Sinclair scored the next goal eight minutes later on a wonderful, low shot that beat the goalkeeper to the opposite side. Sinclair had won possession before taking four or five dribbles with the ball and then firing the ball on target from the left side of the pitch.
The goal was Sinclair’s 130th career goal, tying her with Kristine Lilly for third place on the all-time international list. It was also Sinclair’s 10th goal of the season, marking the eighth time in 13 seasons that Sinclair has reached double digits in goals scored. Sinclair is one of just four Canadian players to score more than 10 goals in a season (albeit the only one to do it more than once).
Tancredi rounded out the scoring in the 64th minute. Parker centered the ball into the middle and Christina Julien missed her chance to connect; Tancredi was on the spot and fired it home for the 5-1 lead.
Tancredi nearly had a sixth goal approximately five minutes later, but she hit the crossbar with her shot.
Canada’s starting XI featured Stephanie Labbé in goal, Rhian Wilkinson at right back, Candace Chapman and Carmelina Moscato at centre back, Melanie Booth at left back, and Christina Julien, Desiree Scott, Christine Sinclair (captain), Sophie Schmidt, Melissa Tancredi and Kelly Parker from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, coach John Herdman replaced Booth with Lauren Sesselmann (46th minute), Parker with Brittany Timko (66′), and Schmidt with Kaylyn Kyle (77′), and Julien with Chelsea Buckland (77′).
Scotland’s starting XI featured captain Gemma Fay in goal, Rachael Small at right back, Rachel Corsie and Ifeoma Dieke at centre back, Hayley Lauder at left back, Joanne Love, Megan Sneddon, Leanne Ross and Jane Ross at midfield, and Jennifer Beattie and Kim Little up front.
In the second half, coach Anna Signeul switched Corsie with Emma Fernon (62′), Little with Lisa Evans (62′), Small with Rhonda Jones (81′), and Beattie with Christie Murray (89′). After starting the match with a 4-4-2 formation, Signeul switched to a 4-3-3 formation after her first double switch in the second half. She also move Small from right back to centre back after Corsie’s exit.
Of note in the match, Sophie Schmidt made her 30th consecutive appearance for Canada, the longest active streak and now also the eighth-longest streak in national team history.
Also of note in the match, Canada wore its new 2012 Canada Umbro kits for the first time. Canada wore the red kit from top to bottom.
The 28 February 2012 match was played at GSZ Stadium in Larnaka, Cyprus.
Canadian Soccer Association
Leading Canada to victory and Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer
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