Action from the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship match between Canada (white jersey) and Guyana on February 11, 2016, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON -- Despite a five-goal margin on Thursday in the game that concluded the opening day of competition in Group B at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, it was a result that left both Canada and Guyana with smiles on their faces.
For Canada – the 5-0 winner – it got offense from 16-year-old Deanna Rose (2 goals, 1 assist) and 20-year-old Ashley Lawrence (3 goals), which took the scoring load off the back of veteran Christine Sinclair and gave a glimpse of the future.
“We gave some new players some new opportunities and that was really exciting and to see [Lawrence] get a hat-trick and Desi [Scott] get her 100th cap, it was a good night for us," said Canada head coach John Herdman. "Three points and Trinidad up next and we're ready to roll.”
Guyana, meanwhile, is pleased that it managed to frustrate the powerful Canadians over the first 25 minutes, before Rose struck for a 1-0 lead.
Canada had plenty of possession, but Guyana was organized and worked well together to close down passing lanes and generally stymied Canada’s more creative players.
"That was absolutely brilliant," said Guyana head coach Mark Rodrigues, whose side lost to the Canadians 8-0 in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. "We have so much to build on continuing on from this from where we've come in 2010 to now. We did all of this within the course of a year. We had less than three weeks with the team together.
"Can you just imagine if we had them for three months? So I'll keep smiling."
As Herdman mentioned, it was a special night for midfielder Desiree Scott, who became the 15th Canadian player to reach the 100-cap milestone. On a night where the younger players dominated the scoreboard, the achievement was special for the 28-year old.
“It’s awesome to get 100 caps and to be amongst the players for Canada with 100,” said Scott. “It’s just exciting that I get the chance to rep this jersey and get 100 games under my belt.”
Canada takes on Trinidad on Sunday while Guyana will play Guatemala. Both games will be played at BBVA Compass Stadium.