Adriana Leon’s highlight reel goal gave Canada a 2-1 victory over Brazil in a women’s soccer friendly Friday, extending the Canadian women’s winning streak to five games.
The seventh-seeded Canadians have now won nine of their last 10 and are 11-2-3 in 2022 with the losses coming to the top-seeded Americans (1-0 in July in the CONCACAF W Championship final) and No. 6 Spain (1-0 in February at the Arnold Clark Cup).
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Ninth-ranked Brazil has won 10 straight and outscored its opposition 34-1, with six of those wins coming in a Copa America championship run in July. Brazil have not lost since a 3-1 decision against Sweden on June 28.
Canada and Brazil play again on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.
Shelina Zadorsky also scored for Canada at Estadio Urbano Caldeira, also known as Vila Belmiro – home of Santos FC and, at one time, Pele.
Debinha replied for Brazil, who trailed 2-1 at half-time but came out with purpose to start the second half. Canada coach Bev Priestman sent some experience from her bench to steady the ship.
Canada’s first two goals came from well-taken set pieces.
Zadorsky rose high to head home an Ashley Lawrence cross at a corner in the 22nd minute after Christine Sinclair’s header was deflected off the crossbar by Brazilian ‘keeper Lorena.
It was a fourth goal in 86 games for Canada for the Tottenham defender.
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Leon made it 2-0 with a beautiful volley from a Jessie Fleming corner in the 29th minute. Sinclair headed the ball and Leon swung her left foot and fired a low shot for her 28th goal for Canada – and her fifth in her last seven games.
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Brazil responded in the 33rd minute with a beauty of a goal from Debinha. After a Canadian turnover, Brazil drove to the Canadian goal and Kerolin chipped the ball past Bianca St-Georges into Debinha’s path. The Brazilian star forward used her upper body, perhaps with a little shoulder, to push the ball forward and then push it past goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
Canada improved to 9-9-9 against Brazil since they first met in 1996.
Their most recent meeting was at the Tokyo Olympics where the Canadians prevailed 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the quarter-final ended 0-0.
Canada also edged Brazil 2-1 in the bronze medal match at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
As in recent international windows, Priestman has been missing players.
Janine Beckie (Portland), Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyonnais, France), Deanne Rose (Reading, England), Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash) and collegiate players Simi Awujo and Zoe Burns (USC), Jade Rose (Harvard) and Jayde Riviere ( University of Michigan) are all unavailable.
Sinclair, Lawrence and Gabrielle Carle, missing in the October window that saw wins over No. 29 Morocco (4-0) and No. 76 Argentina (2-0), were back in the squad for the Brazil games. Canada won a pair of friendlies in Australia in September (1-0 and 2-1).
Sheridan started in goal behind Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, Zadorsky and St-Georges. Fleming and Julia Grosso were a deep-lying midfield duo behind Nichelle Prince, Sinclair and Leon with Evelyne Viens up front.
The Canadian starting eleven had 1,028 games between them, including 318 for the 39-year-old Sinclair.
Viens came close in the ninth minute after a fine through ball by Fleming. She went past the keeper but the angle towards goal was too little by the time she got the ball.
Sheridan was called into action in the 14th minute and a shot was blocked by Ary after a Brazilian attack on the left flank. Ary forced another save later in the half.
Debinha was just high on a curling free-kick in the 45th minute after Buchanan was cautioned for taking down Brazil’s Adriana just outside the box. Seconds later, Lorena stopped a Sinclair shot that deflected off a defender.
Jordyn Huitema and Carle came on for Canada to start the second half. Desiree Scott, Cloe Lacasse and Sophie Schmidt followed later in the half.
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Amanda Allen, a 17-year-old, won her first senior cap off the bench in the 71st minute.
Sheridan had to turn away a low cross in the 54th minute as the Canadian defense was broken. Minutes later, the Canadian ‘keeper had to rise high to palm away another long-range rocket from Ary and Canada struggled to clear the ball in the ensuing corner.
Sheridan needed treatment in the 72nd minute after a Brazilian stepped on her forearm as the pair went after the ball.
Huitema went down in the penalty box in the 82nd minute after tangling with Brazil’s Fernanda, but there was no call.
The 41st-ranked Canadian men were in action earlier in the day, teaming up to draw No. 85 Bahrain 2-2 in a World Cup warm-up in Manama. Canada was missing some of its top talent, with European clubs still in action.
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