SYDNEY, Australia — Bev Priestman can say mission accomplished after Canada’s comeback win in Australia in Canada’s first leg of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Adriana Lyon scored both goals as Canada beat Australia 2-1 in a friendly in Sydney.
The 12th-ranked Australians put the pressure on seventh-ranked Canada and quickly fought back to take a 1-0 first-half lead.
But the Canadians returned to the field with renewed vigor after the break, taking the lead with goals from Leon in the 48th and 64th minutes in front of about 27,000 spectators at the newly constructed Allianz Stadium.
“At the end, I had to ask a little bit more from the group,” coach Priestman said after the game. We talked about playing more than two games, maintaining our high standards and not standing still.
“I saw what I expected from Australia in the first half. To be fair, they started the game more like I expected and they made us work hard. »
Canada won 1-0 when the same teams met at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.
Lyon, 29, from Ontario, who plays for Manchester United, has scored in three of Canada’s last four games to take his tally to 27 in 88 international caps.
The two games in Australia are the Canadians’ first since securing a World Cup berth with a second-place finish against the Americans at the CONCACAF Championship in Mexico.
Mary Fowler opened the scoring for the Aussies in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. But they couldn’t hold on against Canada in the second half.
Australia, who co-host next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand, had their chances in the opener but could not beat goalkeeper Kaylan Sheridan. Australia manager Tony Gustavsson lamented the missed chances, saying afterwards that his team could have scored three goals on another night.
Australia converted their first chance in the third minute on Tuesday when Fowler intercepted Sheridan’s poor clearance. Courtney Wynne then found star striker Sam Kerr, who drew several defenders into the Canadian penalty area and passed the ball to a free Fowler. The 19-year-old Manchester City striker hit a low shot for his eighth goal in 25 internationals.
Canada equalized early in the second half when Lyon deflected Christine Sinclair’s cross. The Canadian captain’s first attempt to put the ball in front of the goal beat a defender and was outrun by Sinclair, who caught Lyon on second down.
A goal by Nichelle Prince in the 53rd minute was ruled offside.
Young central defender Jade Rose set up Canada’s second goal, making a terrific run before splitting the defense with a pass that sent Lyon behind four defenders. Lyon beat keeper Lydia Williams from the edge of the penalty area.
The 19-year-old Rose, who recently captained Canada at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, was making only her third senior appearance.
Quinn scored a life-saving tackle in the 90th minute as Australia equalised. Canada then held on for nearly seven minutes of overtime.