Canada open 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup campaign with 6-0 win
Up a player after just six minutes, Canada had no trouble winning 6-0 against a deflated Argentine side in the opening group match of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. A hat trick from Adriana Leon along with single goals from Whitecaps FC women’s midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki, as well as Shelina Zadorsky (penalty), and Catherine Charron-Delage secured Canada its full three points in at Kobe Univ Stadium in Kobe, JPN.
Argentina's Betina Soriano produced a decent shot in the opening minute, forcing Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo to make a good save by tipping the ball off the crossbar. That would be as close as Argentina would get. Just five minutes later, centre back Agustina Barroso body checked Canadian striker Christine Exeter inside the box, taking away a clear chance on goal and prompting referee Esther Staubli to call for a penalty. Barroso was dismissed before Canadian captain Zadorsky fired in the first goal from the penalty mark.
From there, Canada took control of the match with the extra attacker in the field of play. Over 90 minutes, Canada would maintain 67 per cent of the possession while firing 14 shots on goal. Six of those shots would hit the back of the net.
Canada's second goal came in the 20th minute after Whitecaps FC striker Jenna Richardson pushed the attack down the right side. She cut a pass back to the top of the box where fellow ‘Caps player Sawicki, all in one motion, turned and chipped a shot over Argentina goalkeeper Laurine Oliveros.
Two minutes later, Leon scored her first of three goals in the first half. Exeter's first shot was stopped by Oliveros, but it also drew the goalkeeper out of position. With the rebound at her feet, Exeter passed the ball back to Leon who fired on goal from the top of the box. Leon's shot beat the defender who was standing on the Argentine line.
Then in the 42nd minute, Leon made it 4-0 on a strike from the top of the box. From Rachel Melhado to Richardson to Danica Wu, the ball then found its way to Leon who buried it with a right-footed blast coming in from the top left of the penalty area.
Four minutes later in added time, an errant deflection off an Argentine player fell to an attacking Leon just outside the penalty area. Leon hopped over the sliding Adriana Sachs and then fired her shot from inside the box to give Canada a 5-0 lead.
With the win well secured before the second half, Canada needed to do little in the last 45 minutes. In the 46th minute, head coach Andrew Olivieri brought on Whitecaps FC midfielder Nicole Setterlund in place of Rachel Melhado.
A final goal was scored in the 86th minute after a Jade Kovacevic cross was headed home by Charron-Delage.
This marked the third time that Canada scored six or more goals in a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match. Canada previously produced wins of 6-2 over England at Canada 2002 and 7-0 over host Thailand at Thailand 2004. Like today's 6-0 win over Argentina with a hat trick by player-of-the-match Leon, those previous big scores also included Canadian hat tricks: Christine Sinclair in 2002 (five goals) and Brittany Timko in 2004 (three goals).
Canada's next FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match is Thursday 23 August against Norway (7 p.m. local / 6 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT). The match will be broadcast on CBC television as well as CBCSports.ca. Fans can also follow all the action via twitter.com/canadasocceren.