Canadian Press/Associated Press
Canada opened the 2008 international women's soccer season with a 4-0 defeat to the USA at the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, on Wednesday.
Amy Rodriguez - making her international debut - and Linsday Tarpley scored two goals each for the Americans.
The first half was scoreless, despite an attacking American squad that had nine shots on goal to the Canadians' four. But Canada's defence unravelled in the second half after forward Rodriguez scored from close range in the 51st minute.
Rodriguez also converted a penalty in the 65th minute. Midfielder Tarpley then scored from eight yards out in the 71st minute and struck again in seven minutes later, putting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of Erin McLeod’s goal.
Three Canadians earned their first caps with the senior team - 17-year-olds Jonelle Filigno and Julie Armstrong, and 19-year-old Kaylyn Kyle all played in the second half. Armstrong and Kyle are members of the Vancouver Whitecaps, as is midfielder Clare Rustad, who made her first international start in more than four years.
Hope Solo was back in goal for the US, having been off the team since last year's FIFA Women’s World Cup finals when she strongly criticized the team’s decision to bench her for the semifinal defeat to Brazil. Solo played the full game on Wednesday, making two saves.
In the second game, China defeated Finland 2-0. Defender Li Jie headed in a cross in the 21st minute and Liu Yali scored from inside the Finland box two minutes before halftime.
Canada play hosts China on Friday and Finland on Sunday. The Americans take on Finland on Friday.
Canadian coach Even Pellerud is hoping the early-season tournament will provide a good chance for his team to gain match fitness, with the Olympic qualifying tournament looming in April in Mexico.
The number nine-ranked Canada is in its second phase of preparations for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifier. Following the World Cup in September, the team opened its residency camp in Vancouver last November.
The Canadian women, ranked second in CONCACAF, need a top-two finish at the Olympic qualifying tournament to earn a berth to the Beijing Olympics.
USA vs Canada - 2008 Four Nations Tournament
Guangdong Olympic Sports Center Stadium - Guangzhou, China
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Heather O’Reilly) 51’.
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Heather O’Reilly) 65’.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Heather O’Reilly) 71’.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Amy Rodriguez) 78’.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 17-Lori Chalupny, 27-Becky Sauerbrunn (14-Stephanie Cox, 64’), 3-Christie Rampone, 26-Ali Krieger; 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Leslie Osborne (16-Angela Hucles, 46’), 11-Carli Lloyd (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 64’), 9-Heather O’Reilly; 19-Amy Rodriguez, 20-Abby Wambach.
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 4-Cat Whitehill, 6-Tobin Heath, 8-Lauren Cheney, 10-Angie Woznuk, 25-Tina DiMartino.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
CANADA: 18-Erin McLeod; 3-Melanie Booth, 9-Candace Chapman (13-Kaylyn Kyle, 78’), 11-Randee Hermus, 15-Clare Rustad; 7-Rhian Wilkinson, 10-Martina Franko, 19-Sophie Schmidt; 12-Christine Sinclair, 14-Melissa Tancredi (16-Julie Armstrong, 67’), 21-Jodi-Ann Robinson (5-Jonelle Filigno, 46’).
Subs not used: 1-Karina LeBlanc, 2-Amy Vermeulen, 4-Taryne Boudreau, 8-Monica Lam-Feist, 17-Brittany Timko, 20-Stephanie Labbé.
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
USA / CAN
Shots: 18 / 8
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 5
Offside: 5 / 2
Referee: Kirsi Savolainen (Finland)
AR 1: Liu Hongjuan (China)
AR 2: Zhang Lingling (China)
4th Official: Gu Ying (China)
2008 Four Nations Tournament standings
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 1 0 0 3 4 0 +4
CHN 1 0 0 3 2 0 +2
FIN 0 1 0 0 0 2 -2
CAN 0 1 0 0 0 4 -4
USA 4-0 Canada
China 2-0 Finland
China vs Canada
USA vs Finland
Finland vs Canada
USA vs China