Beckie brace fires Canada to victory

Logo: Manchester City Official

Manchester City Official

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Janine Beckie proved the catalyst, scoring a crucial brace to inspire Canada to a 2-1 win over in Japan to boost their hopes of going through to the Olympic knockout stages.

The City star, winning her 77th cap, was at the centre of the action at the Sapporo Dome, striking in both halves after earlier seeing a penalty strike the post.

Having drawn their opening Group E game 1-1 against hosts Japan on Wednesday, Canada – bronze medallists in both 2012 and 2016 – were seeking a positive response.

After a bright start they were awarded a 19th minute penalty with VAR confirming the spot-kick after Christine Sinclair was brought down in the box.

Beckie struck the penalty sweetly but here effort rebounded back off the post.

However, six minutes before the break Beckie more than made amends.

The City star reacted smartly after Nichelle Prince’s cross rebounded into the middle of the box, firing home a superb finish to break the deadlock.

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Two minutes after the restart Beckie struck again to double Canada’s advantage.

Prince was again the architect, supplying an inviting ball over the top of the Chilean defence and Beckie timed her advancing run to perfection to pounce and beat the keeper.

However, Chile gained a foothold on 57 minutes when they were awarded a penalty of their own after a Zadorksy foul and Karen Araya converted to set up a tense last half hour.

Both sides came close in a pulsating finale with Chile hitting the bar and Sinclair’s goalbound effort deflected wide.

But Canada held firm to claim a crucial victory and set up an intriguing third and final group game against Team GB in Kashima next Tuesday, kick-off 12pm (BST)

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