Canadian women, Brazil play to scoreless draw
A late offensive push by Diana Matheson (pictured) almost gave Canada a win over host Brazil in a Torneio Internacional match on December 18, 2013, in Brasilia. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Soccer Association)

BRASILIA, Brazil – Canada will contest the match for third place in the Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino after it played host Brazil to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday at the Estadio Mane Garrincha. 

The Canadians finished third in the final table with four points following three matches in round-robin play and will face fourth-place Scotland (0 points) on Sunday.  The two sides met in the tournament opener on December 12, a 2-0 win for the CONCACAF power.

“Those girls were warriors tonight and all that we ever ask for is they put out a performance that Canada can be proud of,” said head coach John Herdman.  “They left no ounce of Canadian out there and I’m just really proud.”

In an encounter of limited chances, Canada thought it had taken a late first-half lead against the Brazilians, but Christine Sinclair’s goal off a chip from Diana Matheson was ruled offside. 

Despite being down a player after Lauren Sesselmann’s ejection with 15 minutes left in regulation, the visitors finished with an offensive flurry.

An 87th minute passing sequence between Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt resulted in Matheson having an effort saved by goalkeeper Thais Picarte. 

Three minutes later, Matheson shot right at Picarte, though the 29-year-old could have passed to a well-positioned Schmidt.

At the end, a Matheson pass in the air to Schmidt came loose a few yards in front of the goal, but no Canadian could get a foot on the ball. 

“We’re disappointed because you want to go in and play Brazil again in the final but that’s football,” Herdman added.  “We’ve taken four points out of the tournament.  That would have qualified us for the next round of the Women’s World Cup if we were there.”

Brazil (7 points) and Chile (6 points) will square off in an all-South American final, also on Sunday.