Canadian women/s soccer team loses to Germany

Canada lost its Women’s International Friendly match today against two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Germany. The Germans scored five goals at Rudolf Harbig Stadion in Dresden, Germany. The Germans celebrated the Wednesday 15 September victory in front of 20,431 fans, the same day individual ticket sales were launched for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.

"The loss humbled the team, but that’s what happens when you play one of the best teams in the world in Germany," said national coach Carolina Morace.

Germany scored once in the first half before adding four more goals in the second half. Inka Grings scored the first goal on a penalty in just the second minute, quickly changing the entire complexion of the match. Fatmire Bajramaj, Melanie Behringer (back-to-back) and Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi put the match out of reach in the second half.

"Our mistake in the first minute made it hard for our defence for the rest of the match," said Morace. "When your goalkeeper is your best player on the field, you know the other team has played well."

For this match, Canada’s starting XI featured Karina LeBlanc in goal, Marie-Eve Nault at left back, Emily Zurrer and Candace Chapman at centre back, Rhian Wilkinson at right back, Diana Matheson, Carmelina Moscato, and Kelly Parker at midfield, and Josée Bélanger, Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi up front. For Matheson, who today wore the captain’s armband, it was her 100th appearance with the national team.

As for German coach Silvia Neid, her starting XI featured Nadine Angerer in goal, Saskia Bartusiak, Babett Peter, Sonja Fuss and Lena Goeßling at defence, Simone Laudehr, Kim Kulig, Kerstin Garefrekes and Fatmire Bajramaj at midfield, and Inka Grings and Birgit Prinz up front.

Germany maintained much of the possession in the first half. They were pressing the Canadian defence and winning the one-on-one challenges. Grings scored the first goal on a penalty, but the team kept coming with more chances throughout the half. Canadian goalkeeper LeBlanc was excellent in keeping the score at 1-0.

In the 37th minute, LeBlanc left her line to challenge Garefrekes who attacked on a breakaway. LeBlanc made the save. Five minutes later, LeBlanc again robbed Garefrekes, this time on a shot from the top of the box.

Just 9 minutes into the second half, Bajramaj made it 2-0 for the hosts, beating Canada’s Zurrer and then beating LeBlanc into the left corner of the net.

Down 0-2, Canada still kept it close and even built some good momentum heading into the 71st minute. The team was moving the ball well and was putting pressure on the German defence. That momentum, however, changed after substitute Behringer scored in the 74th and 78th minutes, doubling the lead to 4-0.

In the 85th minute, substitute Okoyino Da Mbabi closed out the scoring with the fifth goal of the match.

As for changes, both teams made six substitutions in the second half. Canada’s six changes were Zurrer and Wilkinson off for Melanie Booth and Chelsea Stewart in the 62nd minute, Parker off for Kaylyn Kyle in the 66th minute, Tancredi off for Christina Julien in the 75th minute, and Chapman and Bélanger off for Robyn Gayle and Kara Lang in the 86th minute.

As for Germany, it brought on Behringer, Okoyino Da Mbabi, Ariane Hingst, Anja Mittag, Alexandra Popp and Josephine Henning.

Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, now returns home to prepare for its next Women’s International Friendly match. Canada faces China PR of Asia on 30 September at BMO Field in Toronto, ON.

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