Action from the women's international friendly between host Canada (red) and Mexico on November 24, 2013, at BC Place in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Soccer Association)
VANCOUVER, Canada – Canada and visiting Mexico played to a 0-0 stalemate on Sunday in a women’s international friendly before a crowd of 21,217 at BC Place.
The Canadians posted their second straight shutout, previously blanking Korea Republic, 3-0, last month in Edmonton.
Christine Sinclair had the host’s first chance six minutes after the opening whistle. Diana Matheson passed from the right side to the Portland Thorns forward, whose effort from the edge of the 18-yard box was saved easily by goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago.
Four minutes later, Mexico’s Guadalupe Worbis accelerated to a ball in the in the Canadian penalty area, forcing goalkeeper Erin McLeod into a quick reaction stop.
Canada’s Rhian Wilkinson had to leave the game in the 27th minute with an injury and was replaced by 16-year-old Sura Yekka.
The defender, who admitted to being nervous in her national team debut against Korea, exhibited composure in her second outing.
“She was a real bright spot,” Canada head coach John Herdman said after the game. “If anything she was pretty much showing the way in terms of a real positive attitude in terms of taking it to Mexico. I think a couple of players fed of her energy. I think that was real bright spark.”
Shortly after the break, Brittany Baxter Timko delivered a cross from the right side into the Mexican area. Sophie Schmidt did well to get to the ball, only to put it over the crossbar.
Lauren Sesselmann saw her 78th minute shot saved by Santiago and Sinclair’s follow-up was blocked.
As time elapsed, Sinclair had the ball at her feet in a good position once again on the right side, but Santiago was sharp, pulling off the save and preserving the clean sheet.
“We had some moments,” Herdman added. “We’re progressing. At times we were stringing 16 or 17 passes together and finishing with a cross or a shot so I’ll take that at his stage but it’s still a long way off 2015.”
Canada will host the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, June 6-July 5, 2015, in six cities across the country.