Canada and Mexico clash at BC Place

It may have been Grey Cup Sunday, but BC Place saw 21,217 file in to see the national women’s team play Mexico to a 0-0 draw.

Canada had plenty of chances early to open the scoring, but could not get on the board.

The best chance in the first half for the home side came from what appeared to be a goal by Brittany Baxter, but it was waved offside.

Erin McLeod was sharp again in the Canadian net as she had to make two big saves in the first half to keep this game scoreless.

Brittany Baxter's goal was judged to be scored from an offside position at BC Place on 24 November 2013.

The early part of this match was much more back and forth compared to Canada’s last match, which was versus Korea Republic back in October.

The second half saw a goalkeeping change in the form of Vancouver product Karina LeBlanc, who came on and stepped in right where McLeod had left off.

Mexico’s Cecila Santiago was just as sharp as the Canadian goalkeepers, thwarting chances from Christine Sinclair all game long.

Controversially, Alina Garciamendez was judged by the referee not to have handled the ball in the box at BC Place on 24 November 2013.

Sinclair’s best chance came in the 87th minute, but nothing was getting past Santiago on this day.

Canada Manager John Herdman was not entirely pleased with his squad though, as he felt that the team was too slow on the pitch.

However, Herdman did have positive things to say about the young talent in the squad. Praise was given in particular to 16-year old fullback Surra Yekka, who was playing for only the second time with the senior squad.

“She was one of the really bright spots. She showed the way to really take it to Mexico. I think a couple of the players fed off of her energy,” said Herdman.

This weekend also saw the official return of Kara Lang to the Canada squad. Even though her return in an actual match is still quite a bit away, seeing her back with the squad, shows tremendous progress in her long awaited return to competitive football. John Herdman has been fully behind Lang’s return to the pitch and she has appreciated her manager’s support.

“It’s huge,” said Lang, “I wouldn’t be here if it were not for John. Just to know that he supports me, and that he believes in me, is really important to me. It’s a big push for me.”

The 2013 season is not yet over for Canada as their participation in a South American tournament will be confirmed later this week.

The International Tournament of Brasilia will see Brazil host Canada, Chile, Scotland, and will run from December 11th to December 22nd.