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Gemma Fay

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Scotland defeated by Canada in Brazil opener

Thursday, 12 December 2013


Brazil Women's International Tournament
Canada 2-0 Scotland
Thursday 12th December, kick-off 7.45 pm (9.45 pm UK)
Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Brasilia

Leon 6, Sinclair 59

A goal in either half gave FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 hosts, Canada, victory over Scotland in the opening match of the Brazil Women's International Tournament.

Adriana Leon put Canada ahead within six minutes, but Scotland captain Gemma Fay prevented Christine Sinclair from extending the lead when she saved her penalty at the end of the first-half.

The Canada captain, and all-time leading goal-scorer, was not to be denied, and marked her 200th appearance with a second half strike.

Scotland came in to the tournament on the back of four straight Women's World Cup qualifying victories, but got off to a bad start at the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha when Leon latched on to Sophie Schmidt's header to volley in to the net.

Scotland grew in confidence as the half wore on, enjoying good periods of possession, but were unable to create any clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities. At the other end, a new-look back four limited the world number seven side's chances.

With both first-choice centre-backs Jennifer Beattie and Rachel Corsie unavailable (Corsie will join up with the squad ahead of the match against Brazil on Sunday), 20-year-old Glasgow City defender Eilish McSorley partnered Hibernian's Frankie Brown, more recognisable at full-back for the national side, at the centre of defence.

Marie-Eve Nault had an opportunity for Canada when she deflected Leon's shot from outside the box towards goal, but Fay saved.

Nault sent another effort high and wide as the half drew to a close, before Brown's challenge on Sinclair inside the box saw the referee point to the spot. Sinclair stepped up, but Fay dived to her right to keep the score at 1-0.

The Portland Thorns striker eventually found the net with almost an hour gone when she picked the ball up on the left and went one-on-one with Fay.

In the evening's other match, hosts Brazil defeated Chile 2-0.

National coach Anna Signeul said: "We came up against a very good Canada side today, but this is exactly the kind of test we need.

"They are physically very strong all over the pitch, and we had to work hard from beginning to end. You can tell that they are a top ten side.

"We gave them too much of the ball at times, and didn't create enough going forward, but there were plenty of positives. We had an unfamiliar back four, who were up against one of the best strikers in the world in Christine Sinclair, and they coped well with the physical test. We really limited their chances, and had some good periods of possession where we looked composed on the ball.

"If we want to achieve our ambition of reaching the World Cup Finals in Canada in 2015, this is exactly the kind of match we'll need to be ready for. So while we are disappointed to lose, I think it was a good experience that focuses the players on the level that we are working to achieve.

"We'll face a totally different test against Brazil on Sunday. They are very technical and full of tricks and we'll need to be prepared in one-v-one situations. Of course they have a home crowd to impress, so we expect a good atmosphere."

Scotland
Fay (GK)(Cpt), Lauder, McSorley (C Murray 70), Brown, Mitchell, Evans, Sneddon, Love, L Ross (Crichton 67), Little, J Ross (Weir 88)

Canada
LeBlanc (GK), Wilkinson, Sesselmann, Zurrer, Nault, Scott, Kyle, Matheson, Sinclair (Cpt), Schmidt, Leon

Fixture Schedule:

Scotland v Brazil
Sunday 15th December, kick-off 4 pm (6 pm UK)

Chile v Scotland
Wednesday 18th December, kick-off 7.30 pm (9.30 pm UK)

Placing Match
Sunday 22nd December, kick-off 1.45 pm or 4 pm (3.45 pm or 6 pm UK)

All of the matches will be played at the 68,000 capacity Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, which hosted the opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup earlier this year. The stadium will also host seven FIFA World Cup matches next summer, including a quarter-final.


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