Canada takes second at Natal 2015 Four Nations Tournament
Posted on 21 December 2015 in Women's National Team / Olympic Team
Canada’s Women’s National Team went head to head with Brazil for much of Sunday’s final match at the 2015 Torneio Internacional de Natal, but in the end the home squad was able to breakdown Canada on set plays.
Canada’s Janine Beckie was first to find the back of the net, putting one past the Brazilian goalkeeper in the opening moments of the second half. Brazil scored less than a minute later, setting the pace for much of the second half. Centre back Mônica scored twice on headers following Brazilian corner kicks from either side. For Beckie, it was her third international goal of her young career.
“I think the girls gave it everything they could tonight,” said Head Coach John Herdman after the match. “Brazil just had a little bit more quality on the attack, whether it was with their set pieces or delivery. We know with Brazil that you have to open yourselves up a little bit to get something off them and we did that. There were two great chances in the second half, and had we capitalised on them the game could have gone a totally different direction.”
Canada played four matches during the four nations tournament, giving coach Herdman an opportunity to assess several young players he brought into camp in November in advance of Canada’s Olympic qualifying squad selection expected in late January.
“I’m proud of the girls,” he said after the match. “It’s been a good four weeks, we’ve had a different squad in with a blend of senior and new faces, and we’ve learned a lot, so I think the future’s bright.”
Four Canadian players made their first appearances for Canada's national "A" squad: teenagers Gabrielle Carle (17), Kennedy Faulknor (16), Marie Levasseur (18), and Deanne Rose (16).
Looking towards Canada’s campaign for next summer’s Rio Olympics, Herdman now has a better idea of what he’ll be looking for with players, and from the squad as a whole.
“We’ll be looking at the organisation of the team,” he said. “Some of the younger players started growing in confidence, so the future will be about continuing to build that confidence around the senior players, and making sure we get that leadership from the senior group.”
Canada’s next international tournament will be the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament beginining February 11th. Canada was drawn into Group B with Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Guyana. Avoiding highly ranked teams including the USA, Mexico, and Costa Rica during the group stage, who make up Group A alongside Puerto Rico. Group B will play their entire tournament at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, which will also host the knockout round. Two teams from the CONCACAF competition will advance to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Directly after the qualifiers, Canada will head to the Algarve in Portugal for the annual Algarve Cup. In group A, Canada will face Denmark, Iceland and Belgium. Group B is composed of Brazil, New Zealand, Russia and Portugal.
As Canada prepares to defend, or best their Bronze from the last Summer Olympic Games, each of the upcoming competitions will be another signpost as the team trains to deliver their best performance in at Rio.