The Canadian women’s soccer team got their first Olympic match off to a great start against Australia. And after a tense short-handed game, they finished strong too, winning 2-0.
Not 20 seconds into the game, team captain Christine Sinclair stole the ball from an Australian player and passed it to Janine Beckie, who scored. According to FIFA, it was the fastest-ever goal in women’s Olympic play.
But things went down from there. The Australian team seemed to recover after a few minutes and began playing much more aggressively, with forward Samantha Kerr getting a lot of good chances against Canada.
The real blow came 19 minutes in, when Canadian defender Shelina Zadorsky received a red card and was taken out of the game, leaving Canada short-handed. She is also banned from the next game against Zimbabwe.
The second half of the game remained tense, with both teams playing aggressively and racking up fouls.
Christine Sinclair made a second big play 80 minutes in, rushing past the Australian defence and goalkeeper – who was standing far down the field. She scored, solidifying Canada’s lead 2-0.
Much of the credit for Canada’s short-handed victory also has to go to goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who made many great saves under pressure, never letting the Australians get in the net.
Canada’s next game is Saturday against Zimbabwe. The Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics is on Friday.
With a file from the Canadian Press