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Canada’s women’s soccer team blanks Argentina behind 2nd-half rally

Canada rallied in the second half, pulling ahead on an own goal and Cloe Lacasse’s first senior strike to defeat 10-woman Argentina 2-0 in a women’s international soccer friendly Thursday in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain.

Neither team showed a finishing touch in the first half on a warm evening at Estadio Sanluqueno. But Canada, bolstered by reinforcements off the bench, looked more dangerous after the break and pulled ahead in the 68th minute.

Evelyne Viens, after a nice give-and-go with fellow substitute Simi Awujo, went after a loose ball in the Argentina penalty box. She arrived at the same time as goalkeeper Vanina Correa and, in the ensuing collision, the ball bounced back off defender Vanessa Santana into the goal.

Substitute Quinn, who goes by one name, started the play with a ball that sliced open the Argentine defense.

Lacasse made it 2-0 in the 87th minute, tapping home a cross off fellow substitute Clarissa Larisey that bounced off the Argentine ‘keeper and dropped at her feet for her first goal in 12 senior appearances. A late Viens goal was negated by offside.

Canada, ranked seventh in the world, had 66 per cent possession in the first half but was not clinical in front of goal.

And when it did threaten, Correa was up to the challenge. No. 31 Argentina, meanwhile, showed its skill on the ball when it had it but failed to put a shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

Argentina was physical on the day and Marina Delgado was sent off in the 57th minute after receiving a second yellow for lashing out with an arm and connecting with Canada forward Adriana Leon’s throat after the two tangled going after the ball. Delgado picked up her first yellow in the 53rd minute.

The Canadian women face No. 76 Morocco on Monday at Estadio Municipal de Chapin in Jerez. The matches come in the last international window before the Oct. 22 draw in Auckland for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Canada coach Bev Priestman was without captain Christine Sinclair, Ashley Lawrence, Vanessa Gilles, Deanne Rose, Gabrielle Carle and Jayde Riviere, all injured.

Argentina was also missing players due to club commitments in the Copa Libertadores competition.

Midfielder Jessie Fleming, earning her 108th cap, wore the captain’s armband in the absence of Sinclair. The Canadian starting 11 went into the match with a combined 808 caps.

Kailen Sheridan started in goal behind a back four of Allysha Chapman, Kadeisha Buchanan, Shelina Zadorsky and Bianca St-Georges. Fleming partnered Julia Grosso in the heart of the midfield with Nichelle Prince, Janine Beckie and Leon playing behind striker Jordyn Huitema.

Beckie, who has played both at fullback and wing, took over the No. 10 role in place of Sinclair.

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