VANCOUVER, BC – Josee Bélanger's second-half goal and a key save late by Erin McLeod led Canada to a 1-0 win over Switzerland, and a berth in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final, on Sunday afternoon at BC Place.
After a first half that saw the Swiss play Canada close, the forward-turned defender struck for her first goal of the tournament in the 52nd minute, sending the largest crowd to watch a Canadian national team match into hysteria.
McLeod, who went undefeated in 34 career appearances with the Whitecaps FC women’s team, then ensured they went home happy with a game-saving stop on Swiss striker Vanessa Bernauer with less than five minutes to go in the second half that preserved the scoreline. With another clean sheet, McLeod and the Canadians have conceded just one goal in four matches thus far.
The 53,855 in attendance at BC Place beat the previous record of 53,058 set July 6 in Canada’s 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup opener against China PR at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.
"It was just crazy ... and to think this is women's football," Canada head coach John Herdman said after the match. "We got it at the opening ceremony, we got a great crowd in Montreal, good crowds in Edmonton, but BC Place is just ... this is our hometown. It's just so special. There's a real pride when we walk around in this city and walking into that stadium."
Canada's victory, its first against a European team in the FIFA Women's World Cup, sets up a quarter-final matchup Saturday back at BC Place against the winner of Monday's England-Norway match in Ottawa. Canada reached the Round of 16 after taking top spot in Group A with a win and two draws in three matches.
Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, also a former Whitecaps FC women’s player, earned her 100th international appearance for Canada after coming into the match as a second-half substitute.
Whitecaps FC have fully got behind the FIFA Women’s World Cup, organizing a residential camp centred around the World Cup (including tickets to the final at BC Place, which is already sold out!). As part of the camp, girls will have the opportunity to come and interact/learn from the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX coaching staff.
Dates: July 3- 6 REGISTER TODAY!