USWNT Neighbor + Rival Watch: Canada’s Friendlies Versus Brazil and Sweden

The London-bound Canadian Women’s National Team played two friendlies recently, both against fellow Olympics-bound teams: a 2:1 victory against a far from full strength Brazil on March 24th, outside of Boston; and a 1:3 loss versus Sweden in Malmö, on March 31st. Sweden’s victory this past Saturday ended a two-match losing streak (0:4 losses to Germany and the USA during the Algarve Cup).

Canada 2, Brazil 1.
12: Christine Sinclair (Candace Chapman).
78: Christine Sinclair (Sophie Schmidt).
87: Gabriela Zanotti (PK).
Match reports: Canada, Brazil.

Missing from Brazil’s starting eleven were Marta (who did play the full second half), Cristiane, Fabiana, Aline, Ester, and Rosana. Canada scored first via a mid-range pass to Christine Sinclair, which beat an unorganized offside-trap. Canada’s second goal was scored in a similar fashion as the first, but this time the pass found Sophie Schmidt who laid off a delicate pass to a just-onside Sinclair. Brazil’s only goal was scored via a penalty kick after Erika was deemed to have been taken down in the box after an awkward collision with a Canadian defender.

Late in the first-half, Brazil’s goalkeeper, Andreia, had a scary head-to-head collision with  a Canadian player. Andreia was subbed out for back-up keeper Barbara. The incident turned out to be a scare only: After an overnight stay at a hospital, Andreia was released and returned to the team’s training camp. Andreia did sit out at least one day of practice and did not play in the Thursday scrimmage versus Franklin Pierce University.

Next up for Brazil: The Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup, with their first match being against the United States, on April 3rd.

Canada-Brazil Highlights (CanadaSoccerTV):

Canada 1, Sweden 3.
07: Caroline Seger (unassisted).
53: Lotta Schelin (Sofia Jakobsson).
78: Kosovare Asllani (Caroline Seger).
87: Sophie Schmidt (Christina Julien).
Match reports: Sweden (with box score), Canada (unusually brief)
Highlights (via SVT.se)

Caroline Seger capitalized earlier on a mistake by a Canadian centerback by intercepting a pass and launching a 40 yard shot from the left flank. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod was outside her six yard box and unable to get a hand on the shot.

Sweden’s next two goals came much more conventionally, as Lotta Schelin and Kosovare Aslanni both received passes and scored via grounders. On, Aslanni’s goal, she may have had a handball, as it appears that Aslanni may have settled the ball with her upper left arm. Sophie Schmidt got a late consolation goal for Canada after a pass from Christina Julien and then a dribbling run, but it is unclear how that play developed.

Canadian Coach John Herdman tried a new formation for Canada, which based on Sweden’s match report, was a 4-4-2. At the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Canada used a 4-4-3

Sweden’s next scheduled match is a May26th friendly versus Scotland, in Scotland.

Next up for Canada: A May 30th home friendly versus China. (China also plays the USA a few days earlier, on Sunday, May 27th.)