Québec wins gold at Canada Games Women's Soccer Tournament
Posted on 4 August 2017 in Around the Soccer World
Québec struck gold at the 2017 Canada Games Women's Soccer Tournament. La belle province won 1:0 after extra time over provincial neighbours Ontario, with Québec captain Marika Guay providing the heroics just three minutes into the extra period. The match was played in front of more than 1,800 fans at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"I am so proud of this team," said Marika Guay, a member of Canada Soccer's Women's EXCEL Program. "We had such great chemistry and we worked together as a team. We all had the same goal – to win a gold medal."
Ahead of the Québec-Ontario gold medal final, Nova Scotia won bronze following a 1:0 win over Alberta, with Sydney Kennedy scoring the winning goal. British Columbia finished fifth following a 3:0 victory over Manitoba.
Featured on TSN, the match started slow, both teams felt each other out. The first real close call was shortly after halftime when substitute Léonie Portelance hit the post. A few minutes later Ontario had their best chance, Emily Amano sent a long ball up the left flank to Sarah Owusu, charged toward goal, just shot wide of the far post. Three minutes into extra time, captain Guay scored the winner following a corner kick. Guay got an outstretched leg to the ball to knock it in.
More than 50% of this year's players have competed in previous Canada Soccer youth competitions at the club level, while more than one third have been part of the Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Program. From that group, 47 players have benefitted from 2,434 days in Canada Soccer's national youth program, including Teni Akindoju (Nova Scotia), Nahida Baalbaki and Anyssa Ibrahim (Québec), Samantha Chang (Ontario), and Julia Grosso, Emma Regan, and Caitlin Shaw (British Columbia).
This year marks the seventh edition of the Canada Games Women's Soccer Tournament since 1993. From past editions, 29 Canada Games alumni have represented Canada at the FIFA Women's World Cup or Women's Olympic Football Tournament. From that group, 16 have won a CONCACAF championship and 13 have won an Olympic medal, including two-time CONCACAF champion Karina LeBlanc and two-time Olympic bronze medal winners Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, and Rhian Wilkinson.