Canada Soccer

Tancredi goal sparked Olympic season

Posted on 31 December 2008 in Women's National Team / Olympic Team

Melissa Tancredi produced the moment of the year when she scored the winning goal in Canada's first-ever qualification for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament. The Canadian striker took advantage after Mexican defender Rubi Sandoval slipped with the ball at her feet.

Tancredi made no mistake as she scored the lone goal in a 1:0 victory over Mexico - in Mexico. It was Tancredi's third of four goals at the 2008 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament in Juarez, Mexico. The victory erased four years of Olympic frustration dating back to the last qualification tournament in Costa Rica - back to Canada's 1:2 elimination loss to Mexico on 3 March 2004.

Taking part in the Olympic Games was the highlight of the 2008 season. Canada reached the quarter-final stage before bowing out in a 1:2 loss to USA after extra time. Canada held the world number-one ranked country to a 1-1 tie until the 101st minute when Natasha Kai scored the eventual winner.
Canada won 2:1 over Argentina, drew 1:1 against China, and lost 1:2 to Sweden in the group phase. CanadaSoccer.com's busiest day in 2008 was the 15 August quarter-final against USA.

In all, Canada played 25 games in 2008, the most ever in the women's program history. On the road to Mexico, Canada played three games in January at the Four Nations Tournament (0:4 to USA, 0:0 against host China and 1:1 against Finland) and four games in March in Europe (2:1 over Russia, 3:0 over Japan, 0:2 to Scotland and 0:0 against France). Actually, a fifth unofficial game in March came against USA's U-20 team in the Cyprus Cup final - a 3:2 Canadian victory.

In April, Canada finished second at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Football Tournament. It won 6:0 over Trinidad & Tobago and 1:0 over Costa Rica in the group phase. It then won 1:0 over Mexico in the semi final and drew 1:1 with USA in the final. Canada then lost the final on penalties to USA.
Along with Tancredi's goal-scoring heroics, goalkeeper Erin McLeod set a national-team record with her sixth clean sheet of the season in the 9 April semi-final win over Mexico. In fact, she helped Canada set a CONCACAF record with 509 consecutive shutout minutes.

After a short break, Canada continued its residency camp in May and resumed its match schedule against USA. This time, Canada was on the tough end of an 0:6 loss. Canada then flew to Australia where it lost 1:2. In June, Canada played four games in the Peace Queen Cup in Korea Republic: a 5:0 win over Argentina, a 3:1 win over Korea Republic, a 2:0 win over New Zealand, and an 0:1 loss to USA in the final.

In July, Canada's women's team played its first home match at the new BMO Field, playing to a 1:1 draw against Brazil. Less than a week later in Vancouver, coach Even Pellerud announced his roster for the Olympics and the team left for Asia. It then played in two final friendly matches before the big competition began: a 1:1 draw with New Zealand and an 8:0 romp over Singapore.
Canada's top goal scorer in 2008 was again captain Christine Sinclair. This year, she fired 13 goals, thus climbing to 95 for her senior-team career. She scored two goals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, including one rocket in the semi-final against USA. Tancredi and Lang were second on the team with six goals apiece.

Randee Hermus became the fourth player to make 100 appearances for Canada, doing so in March against France. Sinclair, meanwhile, finished the season with 122 career starts, tying the national record held by Charmaine Hooper. Candace Chapman set the record for most appearances (23) and most minutes (2028) in a single year while Brittany Timko set the record for most substitutions (16) in a year.

Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and whose presenting sponsor is Teck, finished the year with a record of 10 wins, seven draws and seven losses. It was the third time Canada finished with 10 wins in a season. Canada's all-time record is now 89 wins, 30 draws and 103 losses. At home, Canada has 26 wins, five draws and 16 losses; in official FIFA/CONCACAF tournaments, Canada has 33 wins, eight draws and 20 losses.

Back to news list

Proud partners of Canada Soccer