Thursday, May 30, 2024

Women’s soccer: Canada wants to find its direction against Costa Rica

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

After a frustrating game that saw 74 stoppages according to coach Bev Priestman, Canada wants to find its direction on Monday against Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in Mexico.

Canada, ranked sixth in the world, had a 1-0 win over 57th seed Panama on Friday. That result, combined with a 6-0 win over No. 76 Trinidad and Tobago, made Canada confirm their participation in the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a group stage match.

Since the Panama players fell at the slightest touch, Priestman estimated that the referee blows the whistle every 80 seconds on average.

“The most important thing for us is to close the page of this meeting,” the pastor said Sunday. It wasn’t perfect, but we got the job done. However, we must play in such a way that these situations do not affect our pace.

“So we hope to find our directions and our wanderlust. We will need him in the next matches.”

Defender Ashley Lawrence said the Canadian team wanted to learn from their first two matches in the tournament.

“We have to understand that there are going to be frustrating moments. But these are things that are out of our control. So we have to focus on the things we control. And that is our we want to impose ourselves on the opponent. This has been the basis of our success in the past.”

The top spot in Group B will be at stake on Monday at BBVA Stadium in Monterrey against 37th seed Costa Rica. Costa Rica beat Panama 3-0 and Trinidad and Tobago 4-0.

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“They have good players,” Priestman said of Costa Rica. It’s a good team we should have.”

Canada has won each of its previous 14 matches against Costa Rica with a total score of 47-6.

Their last encounter dates back to February 2018, when Canada won 1-0 in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Olympics qualifiers.

The team that finishes top of Group B must avoid the United States in the semi-finals. The Americans wrap up the group stage on Monday against the Mexicans.

Canada won the tournament in 1998 and 2010, each time beating Mexico in the final. The United States won the other eight titles of the tournament.

The winning team will also receive a ticket to the Paris Olympics in 2024 and to the inaugural Women’s Gold Cup, also in 2024.

Teams that finished second and third will face each other in September 2023 for a series of Olympics and Gold Cup qualifiers.

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