Manchester City winger Janine Beckie set up Kadeisha Buchanan’s winning goal as Canada got off to a good start in Group E of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 after a physical encounter with Cameroon.
Right at the end of a cagey first half, a lofted corner from the City player found Buchanan at the back post to head in and give Canada a lead which they deservedly held onto.
Christine Sinclair’s wait to break the all-time FIFA Women’s World Cup goalscoring record must go on as the Canada veteran remains on 181 goals, three behind Abby Wambach.
In the build-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Canada were unbeaten in three of their preparatory games. Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s side were victorious in two and drew in the other. A striking force of Beckie and Sinclair proved clinical with goals against Nigeria and Mexico respectively.
Beckie had a bright season at City, who finished second in the FA Women’s Super League, appearing in 10 of the 20 league fixtures. The Canadian also struck fine goalscoring form in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup with seven goals in six games which helped City lift the prestigious trophy.
FA Women’s Super League counterpart, Adriana Leon featured in six games this season in the league. In contrary to Beckie, West Ham United’s Number 19 started on the bench.
It was a tight opening 10 minutes with both sides battling for a foothold in the game. Canada looked to Beckie to orchestrate a piece of magic. The City forward’s first shot glided beyond the post but continued to keep the team ticking. A series of one-twos unlocked the Cameroon defence which later fizzled out.
Beckie was once again involved in the action. City’s Number 11 reached the byline having found a pocket of space in behind and delivered a cross into the box. Nichelle Prince was consequently unable to test Cameroon goalkeeper, Annette Ngo Ndom.
With under five minutes until the end of the first half, a delightfully lofted corner to the back-post from Beckie found the run of Buchanan. The Canadian defender thundered her header into the ground as it bounced into the net.
As the battle prolonged, Cameroon upped the physicality in hope of clawing back a draw. Consequently, Beckie was on the end of a number of fouls but fought on and was unfortunate to see a fine late shot also saved.
Canada (4-4-2): Stephanie Labbe (GK), Allysha Chapman, K
Cameroon (5-3-2): Annetee Ngo Ndom (GK)
By Jake Stokes (@Jake_Stokes) – University of Derby Football Journalism student