Canada has opened the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 at the top of Group C with three points and a +6 goal differential. Canada won its opening match 6:0 in Kobe, JPN over 10-player Argentina, scoring six times after an Agustina Barroso dismissal in the sixth minute. Korea DPR won the other Group C match on Monday 20 August, winning 4:2 over Norway.
Adriana Leon scored three times for Canada while Shelina Zadorsky, Jaclyn Sawicki and Catherine Charron-Delage also scored for Canada. Leon is quickly the tournament co-leading goal scorer, becoming the third Canadian to score a hat trick at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (joining former Golden Shoe winners Christine Sinclair in 2002 and Brittany Timko in 2004). Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo posted the clean sheet.
Canada’s next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup match is Thursday 23 August against Norway (19.00 local / 06.00 ET / 03.00 PT). The match will be broadcast on CBC television as well as CBCSports.ca. Fans can also follow all the action via twitter.com/canadasocceren.
Also on Monday 20 August, Group D winners were USA 4:0 over Ghana and Germany 4:0 over China PR. The top-two teams from Group D will face the top-two teams from Group C in the 31 August quarter-final phase.
On Sunday 19 August, Group A winners were Japan 4:1 over Mexico and New Zealand 2:1 over Switzerland. In Group B, Nigeria won 2:0 over Korea Republic while Brazil equalled Italy 1:1. The top-two teams from Groups A and B will meet in a pair of quarter-final matches on 30 August.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 runs 19 August to 8 September. Canada is one of 16 teams participating in the tournament, with all players born in 1992 or later. This marks Canada’s fifth participation in a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Up a player after just six minutes, Canada had no trouble scoring six times against a deflated Argentine side in the opening group match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012. A hat trick from Adriana Leon along with singles from Shelina Zadorsky (penalty), Jaclyn Sawicki and Catherine Charron-Delage secured Canada its full three points in the 20 August match at Kobe Univ Stadium in Kobe, JPN.
Argentina’s Betina Soriano produced a decent shot in the opening minute, forcing Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo to make a good save by tipping the ball off the crossbar. That would be as close as Argentina would get. Just five minutes later, centre back Agustina Barroso body checked Canadian striker Christine Exeter inside the box, taking away a clear chance on goal and prompting referee Esther Staubli to call for a penalty. Barroso was dismissed before Canadian captain Zadorsky fired in the first goal from the penalty mark.
From there, Canada took control of the match with the extra attacker in the field of play. Over 90 minutes, Canada would maintain 67 per cent of the possession while firing 14 shots on goal. Six of those shots would hit the back of the net.
Canada’s second goal came in the 20th minute after Jenna Richardson pushed the attack down the right side. She cut a pass back to the top of the box where Sawicki, all in one motion, turned and chipped a shot over Argentina goalkeeper Laurine Oliveros.
Two minutes later, Leon scored her first of three goals in the first half. Exeter’s first shot was stopped by Oliveros, but it also drew the goalkeeper out of position. With the rebound at her feet, Exeter passed the ball back to Leon who fired on goal from the top of the box. Leon’s shot beat the defender who was standing on the Argentine line.
Then in the 42nd minute, Leon made it 4-0 on a strike from the top of the box. From Rachel Melhado to Jenna Richardson to Danica Wu, the ball then found its way to Leon who buried it with a right-footed blast coming in from the top left of the penalty area.
Four minutes later in added time, an errant deflection off an Argentine player fell to an attacking Leon just outside the penalty area. Leon hopped over the sliding Adriana Sachs and then fired her shot from inside the box to give Canada a 5-0 lead.
With the win well secured before the second half, Canada needed to do little in the last 45 minutes. A final goal was scored in the 86th minute after a Jade Kovacevic cross was headed home by Charron-Delage.
Canada’s starting XI featured Sabrina D’Angelo in goal, Vanessa Legault-Cordisco at right back, Rachel Melhado and Shelina Zadorsky at centre back, Mélissa Roy at left back, and Sarah Robbins, Danica Wu, Christine Exeter, Jenna Richardson, Jaclyn Sawicki and Adriana Leon from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, coach Andrew Olivieri replaced Melhado with Nicole Setterlund (46′), Leon with Catherine Charron-Delage (46′) and Legault-Cordisco with Jade Kovacevic (60′). Of note, Leon had been assessed a caution in the first half.
Argentina’s starting XI featured Laurina Oliveros (goal), Agustina Barroso, Noelia Espindola, Adriana Sachs, Camila Gómez Ares, Betina Soriano, Micaela Sandoval, Yael Oviedo, Mariana Larroquette, María Bonsegundo and Gabriela Iribarne. Barroso, however, was ejected after a foul in the penalty area in only the sixth minute of the match.
With Argentina coach Jose Carlos Borrello (suspended) watching from the sidelines, coach Nestor Calvino switched Iribarne with Yanina Hernández (29′), Gómez with Jimena Vera (54′), and Bonsegundo for Erika Cabrera (67′).
Along with Borrello in the stands, there were 3,468 fans in attendance for the Canada-Argentina match.
This marked the third time that Canada scored six or more goals in a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup match. Canada previously produced wins of 6:2 over England at Canada 2002 and 7:0 over host Thailand at Thailand 2004. Like today’s 6:0 win over Argentina with a hat trick by player-of-the-match Leon, those previous big scores also included Canadian hat tricks: Christine Sinclair in 2002 (five goals) and Brittany Timko in 2004 (three goals).
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