Canada struggles with opponents and minimal domestic support in first week of WWC

Not only does the month of June signal the start of patio season, summer jobs, and the official start of summer, it also marks the beginning of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Soccer (WWC), which is being hosted by Canada this year. Matches will be hosted in different Canadian cities including Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and even Moncton.

In previous summers, the men’s FIFA World Cup has brought Toronto’s multicultural community together, despite the fact that the Canadian team has not recently qualified. Unfortunately, even with the WWC being hosted in Canada, and the Canadian team currently leading their group, the attention Toronto has paid to the event has been disappointingly low.

Last Saturday the opening match — Canada vs. China PR — was held at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, and included a musical performance from Canadian indie-duo Tegan and Sara. Despite strong opposition by the Chinese team, Canada eventually earned a hard-won victory, thanks to international soccer superstar, and Canadian team captain, Christine Sinclair.

Despite being the favourites coming into the tournament, and a bronze medal finish at the 2012 London Olympics, Canada was kept goal-less until extra time when Sinclair beat the Chinese goalkeeper with a penalty shot. Much of Canada’s victory was thanks to the excellent defending from 19 year-old Brampton-native Kadeisha Buchanan who — with her bright-red dreadlocks and tenacious skill — is a force to be reckoned with on the field.

Canada’s second match was held on the following Thursday. Play was suspended during the second minute due to weather conditions; it wasn’t until 45 minutes later that the Canada vs. New Zealand match resumed. With ball possession fairly equally divided, and a New Zealand goal called back for offsides, the game eventually ended in a nil-nil tie.

Canada is not yet guaranteed to make it out of Group A and on to the next round.

Canada still needs to play the Dutch team, known as the “Orange Lionesses,” in Montreal on Monday.

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