Canada head coach Bev Priestman hailed the performances of Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Shelina Zadorsky and her defensive colleague Vanessa Gilles as they restricted the United States to scoring just the one goal in their SheBelieves Cup opener in Orlando, Florida in the early hours of this morning.
The world champions won the match 1-0 at the Exploria Stadium, Despite having 28 goal attempts, 10 of which were on target, they could only beat Canadian keeper Stephanie Labbe once.
Speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Canadian head coach Priestman hailed her defensive partnership.
“I thought they were outstanding” she said. “Particularly Vanessa, I thought that Vanessa had an unbelievable performance.
“We have seen that throughout the camp. I have said when in these moments where you are missing core players, others have to step up.
“Vanessa did that and that partnership with Shelina worked really well. They haven’t had a lot of time together and Shelina came in late with the FIFA window but they were absolutely outstanding.”
Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positives for Canada to take from the match and head coach Priestman was more than happy with the performance.
“For an opening game and for a new coach coming in, you want the players to put everything out on the field and I am really proud because they did that” said Priestman. “The mindset was right first and foremost, they were brave and worked really, really hard.
“I think they took it to the US in moments of that game, we never thought that it was going to be perfect but we had our chances.
“By the time the Olympics come, I think we will put our chances away and that’s when it really counts.
“Overall, really, really excited and really happy. Going into the next game, we have to put out the same performance and win convincingly, that’s the challenge.”
Canada take on the SheBelieves Cup’s rank outsiders Argentina in their next match on Sunday evening.