Spain unbeaten in 19 after blanking Olympic champion Canada at Arnold Clark Cup | CBC Sports

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Whereas Canada leaves the Arnold Clark Cup on the again of a 1-0 loss to a formidable Spain aspect, head coach Bev Priestman noticed loads of positives for the Olympic champions.

Regardless of having half of her roster in pre-season mode again residence with their Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League groups and lacking talismanic captain Christine Sinclair and skilled ahead Adriana Leon, the sixth-ranked Canadian ladies tied No. 8 England 1-1 and beat No. 3 Germany 1-0 earlier than working into a trendy Spanish aspect that performed properly above its No. 9 rating.

“I feel we have taken a step ahead,” Priestman stated after Wednesday’s match at a near-empty Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. “I really feel like we discovered methods to get [star fullback] Ashley Lawrence larger [up the pitch]. We have got extra mixtures and extra trusted gamers. I feel we have widened the depth — I’ve examined extra gamers.

“I stated coming into this we might come away with extra European expertise. We have accomplished that. I am so glad we attended this event. I feel we have got some large learnings. And there are some gamers that basically needed to step up.”

Spain got here as marketed, stylish and assured, aggressive on defence and cozy on the ball in assault.

Star midfielder Alexia Putellas, winner of the Ballon d’Or, Finest FIFA Ladies’s participant and UEFA participant of the 12 months, pulled the strings for Spain because it prolonged its unbeaten streak to 19 video games (17-0-2) since a 1-0 loss to the U.S. on the SheBelieves Cup in March 2020.

Whereas Spain had extra of the ball early on, Canada appeared as much as the duty and created a number of probabilities of its personal to begin.

However Spain went forward within the twenty first minute after Patri Guijarro stole the ball off Lawrence in midfield. 5 passes later it was behind the web with a low shot from an unmarked Putellas, who made a stealthy run into the center of the penalty field and beat Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.

Scrappy 2nd half

The 28-year-old Barcelona star nearly scored a second within the 63rd minute, however her header off a nook hit the woodwork.

The sport grew scrappier within the second half as substitutions had been made. Canada got here on late however was unable to interrupt by means of, with two Canadian attackers unable to get to a harmful Lawrence cross that flashed by means of the Spanish penalty field within the dying seconds.

As within the two earlier matches, Priestman appreciated elements of the efficiency.

“For us it has been three video games of half-a-game, to be trustworthy with you, throughout this event,” she stated. “I can solely stroll away from this recreation very proud of the second half and a poor first half. However that is credit score to Spain.”

Spain completed with 60 per cent possession and outshot Canada 14-7 though the Canadians had a 3-1 edge in photographs on track.

The defeat was solely the fourth for Canada underneath Priestman, whose report is 10-4-6 together with two shootout wins on the Tokyo Olympics. The opposite losses had been to the U.S., Brazil and Mexico.

A victory Wednesday and Canada (1-1-1) would have gained the event. England (0-0-2) performed Germany (0-1-1) within the later recreation needing a win to have an opportunity of catching Spain for the event title.

The Spanish ladies arrived in England on a 16-game successful streak throughout which they outscored their opposition 96-0. And regardless of taking part in to 2 ties, Spain regarded harmful in opposition to Germany and England, posing issues with its smothering press.

‘Aggressive recreation’

The Spanish beginning 11 featured six gamers from Champions League winner Barcelona, together with Putellas. The attacking midfielder scored 26 targets and added 19 assists as Barcelona gained the Spanish League, Cup and Champions League final season. Barca teammate Jenni Hermoso, who tied for the Spanish league scoring lead with 31 targets, served as captain.

“It was a really aggressive recreation. We battled exhausting,” Spain coach Jorge Vilda stated by means of an interpreter. “We performed properly for sure durations of the sport albeit with out making one of the best begin and that is one thing that we would like to enhance on. We did then take management of the sport, created probabilities.

“Alexia Putellas scored the aim and I really feel we dominated from that time onwards.”

Priestman made 4 modifications to the group that beat Germany, giving Marie-Yasmine Alidou her senior debut whereas additionally inserting Shelina Zadorsky, Deanne Rose and Jordyn Huitema.

Alidou, a 26-year-old midfielder from Saint-Hubert, Que., performs in Austria for SK Sturm Graz.

Eight of Canada’s 11 starters Wednesday had been European-based and in-season.

Centre again Kadeisha Buchanan, incomes her 116th cap, captained Canada within the absence of Sinclair, who stayed at residence following the latest loss of life of her mom. Jessie Fleming served as skipper in opposition to England whereas fellow midfielder Desiree Scott wore the captain’s armband in opposition to Germany.

Huitema header off crossbar

Sheridan began in aim for the third straight recreation on the event, giving method to Sabrina D’Angelo at halftime. Buchanan, Fleming, Lawrence, Scott, Janine Beckie and Jayde Riviere additionally began all three contests.

Canada got here shut within the twenty eighth minute when Huitema headed a Beckie free kick off the crossbar. The ball bounced again into play, simply lacking an onrushing Buchanan. Spain goalkeeper Lola Gallardo appeared to get a finger to the ball, sending it off the woodwork.

Putellas confirmed her pedigree on quite a few events, together with late within the half when she nutmegged Scott, who was making her 173rd senior look, earlier than heading to the Canadian aim.

Riviere needed to be helped off within the 53rd minute in apparent ache after having her wrist stepped on by a Spanish participant after falling. There was no rapid replace on her situation.

Canada was unable to threaten till later within the second half, with the ultimate passing typically lacking its mark though ahead Cloe Lacasse made her presence felt after approaching within the 77th minute.

The Canadian ladies had solely performed Spain twice earlier than, drawing 0-0 in Could 2019 in Logrones and shedding 1-0 in March 2017 in Sao Joao da Venda.

The Canadian ladies are gearing up for the CONCACAF W Championship in July in Mexico, which can decide World Cup and Olympic qualification. Subsequent up for Canada is a deliberate pleasant in April.

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