Schmidt nets twice as Canada women top Finland

Sophie Schmidt (#13) celebrates after scoring one of her two goals in Canada's 3-0 win over Finland on March 5, 2014, at the Cyprus Women's Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Soccer Association)

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Sophie Schmidt scored two goals to power Canada to a 3-0 victory over Finland on Wednesday in the first Group A match for each in the 2014 Cyprus Women’s Cup.

Both of Schmidt’s tallies came in the first half, while Christine Sinclair completed the scoreline at the hour mark.

“That was a pretty solid performance against a good Finnish team,” said Canada head coach John Herdman at GSP Stadium.  “This team very rarely gets beaten by that sort of scoreline.  I’m really proud of the girls today.”

Finland held off the CONCACAF power until the 35th minute, when midfielder Diana Matheson’s cross from the right side of the goal line was volleyed powerfully by Schmidt into the top corner.

The second came just seven minutes later in a sequence that was initiated with a Josee Belanger feed for the overlapping Rhian Wilkinson down the right wing.  Wilkinson’s subsequent cross into the penalty area was elusive and eventually found Schmidt, who had enough time to pick her spot before completing the brace.

Sinclair netted her 148th career goal in the 60th minute, unleashing a right-footed shot off another Wilkinson pass that was partially blocked before finding the net.

Canada returns to action on Friday against Italy at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca.

NOTES: Canada has posted shutouts in three of its last four outings.