A sold-out crowd of 6,421 soccer fans braved close to freezing temperatures Tuesday night to watch Canada edge Brazil 2-0 in women’s soccer action at outdoor Halifax stadium the Wanderers Grounds.
It wasn’t until midway through the second half that fullback Ashley Lawrence of Toronto was able to make a solid cross to forward Jordyn Huitema of Chilliwack B.C., who was ready at the far post to head it straight past Brazilian goalkeeper Luciana and into the back of the net about 70 minutes into the friendly match.
Canada’s second goal of the night came at the 89-minute mark, when Deanne Rose of Alliston, Ont., carried the ball up field and managed a right-footed shot from the centre of the box, on a headed pass from forward Cloe Lacasse of Sudbury, Ont., sending the crowd decked out in red and white into chants and cheering that echoed through downtown Halifax.
Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo of Welland, Ont., earned the shutout for Canada, stopping two shots on target.
The Canada-Brazil matchup marked the second of two friendlies within four days for the international rivals, with Brazil taking the first match 1-0 on Saturday in front of another sold-out crowd at Saputo Stadium in Montreal.
The real Canadian hysterics came, however, when Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair ran on to the field at the 78-minute mark, replacing goal-scorer Huitema, but giving fans a long-awaited glimpse of the 40-year-old forward on Nova Scotia turf.
The match marked Sinclair’s third last international appearance. After becoming the world’s all-time leading scorer with 190 goals through 289 senior appearances, she’ll retire following her final two games in her home province of B.C. The first match is set for Dec. 1 in Langford on Vancouver Island, and the second scheduled for Dec. 5 in Vancouver, which is nestled next to Sinclair’s hometown of Burnaby.
Canada has officially qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.