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Canada beats Costa Rica 3-1 in women’s soccer friendly in Winnipeg

Team Canada soccer players Desiree Scott and Christine Sinclair joke around during a press conference in Winnipeg, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 prior to their match against Costa Rica on Thursday.
Team Canada soccer players Desiree Scott and Christine Sinclair joke around during a press conference in Winnipeg, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 prior to their match against Costa Rica on Thursday. John Woods / The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – Canada’s national women’s soccer team flexed its muscle against Costa Rica at Investors Group Field on Thursday as the two-time Olympic bronze medalist beat the 30th ranked squad 3-1.

The Canadians wasted little time against their CONCACAF rival, scoring just three minutes into the match. Captain Christine Sinclair fed 19-year-old Jessie Fleming for the opening goal.

Canada controlled possession for almost the entire first half, allowing Costa Rica to cross mid-field just a few times.

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Sinclair added to Canada’s lead with a successful penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Costa Rica drew the foul by taking down Janine Beckie inside their penalty area. The goal marked Sinclair’s 169th of her international career.

Costa Rica increased the pressure just a few minutes later, forcing Lindsay Agnew to make a goal line save off a free kick. Costa Rica eventually found the back of the net with a Diana Saenz marker. The defenceman kicked in a rebound off the post to make it a 2-1 game.

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Adriana Leon restored Canada’s two goal lead during stoppage time. Leon booted in the insurance after a Costa Rican player tried to clear the ball by heading it away.

Winnipegger Desiree Scott made her 125th international appearance in Thursday’s friendly. The 29-year-old midfielder set up a few chances in front of the hometown crowd but was held off the scoresheet. Scott has yet to score a goal in her seven years with the national team.

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Canada’s national women’s soccer team last played in Winnipeg in 2014, earning a 1-1 draw against the USA. The Manitoba capital hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup the following year.

A re-match between Canada and Costa Rica is scheduled for Sunday in Toronto.

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