·26 July 2023
·26 July 2023
In a game that neither side could afford to lose, it was Bev Priestman’s Canada that managed to scramble a narrow victory and collect an all-important three points in the race for qualification from Group B.
It was Ireland who went ahead inside four minutes. Captain and Arsenal winger Katie McCabe opened the scoring with an impressive goal direct from a corner kick.
The Girls in Green looked the more dangerous side in the first half. London City Lionesses forward Kyra Carusa was a constant threat, making runs behind the Canadian back-line.
Canada dominated the possession but they lacked an attacking threat and failed to create many clear-cut chances. Vanessa Gilles came closest, firing over the bar from 10 yards out in the 27th minute.
Deep into first half stoppage time, Canada equalised through a cross which took an unfortunate touch from Ireland’s Megan Connolly, resulting in an own goal.
Substitutions at half-time raised the tempo of the Canadian team. Priestman brought on veterans Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt to give more experience to her side’s attacking line.
Schmidt had an immediate impact, providing the assist for Manchester United forward Leon to convert from close range in the 53rd minute to put the Olympic champions ahead.
Ireland continued to battle despite the downpouring rain. A magnificent run by McCabe saw her pass three members of the Canadian back-line before having a shot blocked. The FIFA Women’s World Cup debutants pushed hard but were unable to find an equaliser.
Defeat for Ireland brings their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut to an end having also lost their opening game last week. Canada now sit top of Group B and take on the co-hosts Australia in Melbourne on Monday.