TORONTO — Despite overwhelming their opponents by pushing the pace of play, the Canadian women’s national soccer team settled for a 0-0 draw against South Korea on Sunday afternoon at BMO Field.
The Canadians dominated the first half of the friendly but were unable to score despite firing six shots toward the opposing goal while carrying a 71-per cent possession advantage.
The attack began in the fourth minute when Canadian forward Janine Beckie’s cross found Jordyn Huitema in the penalty area. Huitema’s header sailed just wide of the goal.
In the 17th minute, Beckie had another kick toward the goal. Kadeisha Buchanan connected with a header that bounced off of South Korean goalkeeper Younggeul Yoon and in front of the net before landing on top of the goal.
Buchanan’s attempt was the only shot on target in the opening half.
The 18th-ranked South Koreans managed just two shots toward the goal in the opening half with none of them hitting the target. Soyun Ji had the best chance when her shot from just outside of the middle of the box went to the left of the goal.
Ji had her team's first shot on target in the 52nd minute when she carried the ball in from the right side but her attempt was easily corralled by Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
Canada continued to push in search of the opening goal. Second-half substitute Vanessa Gilles headed a corner kick opportunity wide of the goal in the 71st minute.
Nichelle Prince was the last of five substitutions for the sixth-ranked Canadians in the 75th minute. The host side made several attempts towards the end of the match to score but the South Korean defence held steady.
In the final play of injury time, Canada had three consecutive shots toward the goal. Shots from Buchanan and Gilles were saved and Deanne Rose's chance was blocked.
Canada finished with a 13-3 advantage in shots. Canadian veteran Christine Sinclair did not enter the match, despite being made available as a reserve.
She did not take part in training on Saturday after Canadian head coach Bev Priestman disclosed on Friday that the veteran forward is dealing with an undisclosed injury.
The match, played in front of 15,616 fans, served as Canada’s only tune-up before next month’s CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico.
That tournament will serve as a qualifier for both the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Notes: Before the match, Canada Soccer honoured former player Diana Matheson, who retired last year just before the Tokyo Olympics. ... Jessie Fleming earned her 100th cap for the national team and served as captain in place of Sinclair.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2022.
David Alter, The Canadian Press