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Women's soccer: Canadians expect better opposition from Australia

Women’s soccer: Canadians expect better opposition from Australia

Canada expects more opposition from a motivated Australian side when the two teams face off in the second match of their women’s soccer friendly in Sydney on Tuesday.

The seventh-placed Canadians won 1-0 in Saturday’s opener at Suncorp Stadium thanks to a superb 11th-minute long-range goal from Manchester United striker Adriana Lyon.

Led by Chelsea star Sam Kerr, 12th-ranked Australia had chances but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Kaylon Sheridan. Australia coach Tony Gustavson lamented the missed chances, saying after the game that his team could have scored three goals on another night.

“The Australia I know, I know they can play at another level,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said in a video conference Monday.

“We’re not going away and I think Australia can step up a gear,” he added. Of course, they will want to prove it. I know your name is Sam Kerr and you bring a lot of inspiration to this game and we definitely need to do the same. »

The Canadians have a depleted roster in Australia, with the entire starting lineup out due to injuries to defenders Kadisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Jade Riviere and Alisha Chapman, and Ashley Lawrence unavailable for personal reasons. Forward Dean Rose was also injured.

Priestman is joined by Bianca St-Georges and Janine Becky alongside experienced central defender Shelina Zadorsky with Sura Yeka.

St-Georges, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, had an impressive performance in his fourth senior outing.

Priestman’s starting line-up consisted of four players from the Tokyo 2021 Olympic final: captain Christine Sinclair, Jessie Fleming, Becky and Nichelle Prince.

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Priestman used a new 4-2-3-1 formation with Fleming and Julia Grosso in front of four defenders with Prince, Sinclair and Leon in midfield and Jordin Huitema as striker.

Canada used all six allowed substitutes, with Jade Rose, Marie Levasseur and Quinn being the only unused outfielders.

Priestman revealed he will use six substitutes to make the most of Australia’s two fixtures on Tuesday.

“It’s a balancing act,” he explained. I want to see players in this game. But at the same time, I like to keep a pace with the band. »

Sinclair, the all-time leading run-scorer with 190 runs, will earn her 317th cap if she plays on Tuesday, leaving her second on the all-time appearances list ahead of American Carli Lloyd. Former US player Christine Lilly holds the lead with 354 matches.

Tuesday’s game will be played at the newly renovated Allianz Stadium, which, like Suncorp Stadium, will host next year’s World Cup, which kicks off in 10 venues across nine cities in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Canada will know its route to the 32-nation tournament during the draw in Auckland in October.

Canada is 7-2-3 in 2022, including a 1-0 loss to eighth-place Spain at the Arnold Clark Cup in February and a 1-0 loss to the United States at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.