An accurate toe-poke by forward Adriana Leon coupled with a touch of fortune allowed Canada to secure a 2-1 victory against Ireland on Wednesday, their first of this year’s Women’s World Cup, in wet and windy conditions at Perth Oval.
Fresh off a scoreless draw with Nigeria, Canada put themselves ahead in the match when Leon found the back of the net in the 53rd minute as her side increasingly exerted their dominance over a plucky Irish outfit.
In an exciting first half that had attacking play at both ends, Ireland captain Katie McCabe opened the scoring with a fourth minute corner that curled through the air and into the net, giving the girls in green their first-ever World Cup goal.
Canada worked diligently but failed to convert their first genuine chance in the 30th minute when Vanessa Gilles put too much on a chip within the six-yard box.
Some luck fell the way of the Olympic champions, though, when they equalised on the cusp of halftime, a powerful cross from midfielder Julia Grosso deflecting off Ireland’s Megan Connolly for an own goal in driving rain.
The second half grew into an arm-wrestle, but McCabe battled hard and created two opportunities late in the game which missed the target.
The 40-year-old Christine Sinclair, brought on after the break, found few chances near goal and will have to wait until Canada’s clash with co-hosts Australia in Melbourne on Monday to potentially become the first player to score at six World Cups.
Ireland, who cannot progress to the knockout stage having also lost their opener against Australia, play their final match against Nigeria in Brisbane.