Matildas Fall 1-0 to Canada in Second Straight Loss on Road Trip

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
09/12/2023
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Matildas Drop Second Friendly to Canada, Going 0-2 on the Trip

The Matildas failed to play spoiler in Christine Sinclair’s final game as Canada shut them out, winning 1-0 in Vancouver.

News Insights

  • Gustavsson starts bench, Matildas fall 5-0.
  • Starters play second match and lose 1-0.
  • Sam Kerr’s absence is felt greatly.
  • Legend of the sport Christine Sinclair retires.

Coming off an extremely successful World Cup in which the Matildas made the semi-finals on home soil, women’s soccer in Australia is at an all-time high. The Matildas headed to Canada to face the reigning Olympic champions in a pair of friendlies that were expected to be competitive but ended with two losses.  

Embarassing First Game Ends with 5-0 Loss

In the first of two friendlies in Canada, Australian coach Tony Gustavsson chose to test some of his lesser used players rather than play his best XI. As such, the lineup was unrecognizable to those that had advanced the Matildas in the World Cup.  

This experiment didn’t go well as the match ended with more questions than it answered as the Matildas were thumped 5-0. None of the players given the opportunity to start were able to take advantage as Canada dominated the pitch. Now, Canada played many of their starters in the match, so a loss was predictable but the drubbing the Matildas took was still a shock. 

The Canadians dominated the ball early and were quickly rewarded when Australia’s backline was stripped of the ball by Nichelle Prince who calmly tucked the ball past Teagan Micah.

The ball stayed in the Matildas half for what seemed to be the whole first half and Prince found another in the 43rd minute as Canada took a 2-0 lead into the dressing rooms.  

The second half provided no relief for the struggling Matildas as Canada scored in just the 49th minute to put the game away. They would tack on two more before the final whistle as the Matildas left the field embarrassed from the 5-0 loss.  

Match two sees the Aussie Starters Return

Following the big loss, Gustavsson switched all ten outfield starters for the second match. As they were now playing their top lineup (minus Sam Kerr), the match was expected to be much closer.

From the opening kick it was evident that this would be a hardly fought battle. The Matildas were more confident on the ball and playing balls vertically for the likes of Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso to run on to.  

The game was a back and forth affair with each team having their chances on attack and looking to pounce on turnovers and counters.  

The 40th minute saw the Canadians find the breakthrough as a header from Kadeisha Buchanan bounced off the crossbar and midfielder Quinn tucked home the rebound.  

Heading into halftime down a goal, the Matildas certainly would not have been pleased but there was a case to be made that they had been the better side up until this point. 

The second half was much of the same as the Matildas had their chances but were unable to convert and Canada was not content with sitting back and absorbing pressure as the hosts pressed forward when they could. 

Though certainly not the desired result, the 1-0 loss was nothing to be ashamed of.  

Losses in Sam Kerr’s absence re-ignite Old Notion

The Matildas reliance on Sam Kerr to open up almost everything they do offensively has been well documented in the past. The problem seemed to be an afterthought in the World Cup as the squad achieved results whilst Kerr was out with injury.  

However, this trip proved once again that Kerr is still the engine that makes this Australian offense run.  

Goodbye to a Legend

The second match saw legend Christine Sinclair play the final international match of her career. The Canadian pioneer of the sport retires after a 23-year career which saw her score 190 international goals, the most of anyone in history. She also captained Canada to an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2020 and her presence in the sport will be missed by all.

The Matildas road trip to Canada proved a disappointment as they suffered back-to-back losses and failed to score a goal in the process. Experimenting with the second stringers exposed a lack of depth to the squad while the first team performed well but failed to win without superstar Sam Kerr.