Canada Soccer Women’s U-20 team defeated by Nigeria at Papua New Guinea 2016
Posted on 16 November 2016 in ↳ Women's EXCEL U-14 to U-17
Despite taking an early lead, Canada was unable to hold off African Champions Nigeria in its second match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016.
Canada opened strong, scoring early with a beautiful combination play from Olympians Deanne Rose and Gabrielle Carle, with Carle netting the first goal in the 15’. But Canada couldn’t hold the momentum after Nigeria converted a penalty kick off a late hand ball call just before halftime (45’ +1), and found the net again one minute into the second half. Nigeria scored a third time on an interception in the 73’, ending Canada’s hopes of a comeback.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we came in with a young group of players that we wanted to expose to that environment,” said Canada Soccer U-20 Women’s Head Coach Daniel Worthington. “When you play a team like Nigeria, a physical, fast team that are man-marking, you know it’s going to be a difficult match, but this is the kind of experience that will really help these players in their development.”
Canada’s captain Bianca St. Georges was reflective after the game, but fully aware that the match served as a building block for future growth. “It’s a tough loss,” she said. “But we are here to learn, and all we can do is take lessons from each game and hope to apply them later.”
For Worthington, there were lots of positives to focus on.
“I’m proud of this team tonight,” he said. “The way they showed in the first 30 minutes, they followed the strategy well and gave a good account of themselves. They’ve gained some critical tournament expertise.”
Canada will take on Asian Champions Japan in its final group stage match 20 November.
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-23 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.