Canada fall 2-1 to Matildas


CSA & Whitecaps FC

Canada's women's national team could not pull Australia back after falling to a 2-1 defeat at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday.

The Matildas got two goals from Amy Chapman and Caitlin Munoz before Vancouver Whitecaps striker Kara Lang got one back for the Canadians early in the second half. Even Pellerud's side also hit the crossbar twice thereafter, but could not find the equalizer.

Australia got off to a quick start, testing Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod in the first minute. Australia kept coming, but McLeod was in position for saves in the ninth and 20th minute. In between, she took a hard knock on a challenge by Munoz.

In the 22nd minute, Chapman opened the scoring for the Matildas. Munoz's shot was stopped by McLeod, but Chapman was there for the rebound. Canada countered with some chances and was in deep with several corner kicks, but Munoz then made it 2-0 in the 40th minute.

In the second half, Canada breathed life into its offence with the Lang goal, the 30th of her senior international career. Captain Christine Sinclair made the initial threat, but was stopped by Australia's Clare Polkinghorne on the goal-line. Lang followed through with the rebound for Canada's consolation marker.

In the 73rd minute, Canada nearly evened the score when Melissa Tancredi hit the crossbar. Five minutes later, Sinclair connected with the crossbar off a terrific shot just inside the penalty area.

In the dying minutes, Canada pressed deep with a couple of corner kicks, but were unable to break through.

Canada now has a record of five wins, four draws and four losses in 2008. Along with her 30th goal, Lang reached a milestone by playing in her 75th senior international.

Next month, Canada will participate in the Peace Queen Cup tournament in South Korea.

CANADA

Erin McLeod; Clare Rustad, Rhian Wilkinson, Martina Franko, Candace Chapman; Emily Zurrer, Sophie Schmidt (Jodi-Ann Robinson 66'), Jonelle Filigno, Kara Lang; Melissa Tancredi, Christine Sinclair

AUSTRALIA
Melissa Barbieri (Lydia Williams 45'); Clare Polkinghorne, Kate McShea, Cheryl Salisbury, Dianne Alagich; Ellyse Perry, Lauren Colthorpe, Amy Chapman (Tameka Butt 77’), Collette McCallum; Caitlin Munoz (Jenna Tristram 66’), Sarah Walsh (Kyah Simon 60’)