Lacklustre offensive performances add to Canada’s Woes at the inaugural Tournoi de France.
Despite completing the comeback to draw 2-2 against 10-man Brazil, Kenneth Heiner-Møller’s team will depart disappointed.
The Canadians’ resurgence in their match against the Brazilians came on the heels of a dismissal for Jucinara.Embed from Getty Images
Goals by Diana Matheson and Janine Beckie in the 74th and 85th minutes respectively, allowed Canada to rescue a draw.
Over the course of three games, the eighth-ranked Canadians managed only two goals, both of which, came in their third and final match. All while registering just six shots on target.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, the tournament was the perfect opportunity for Canada to assess its tactical deficiencies.
However, it was more of the same for a Canadian side that also struggled to find the back of the net in 2019, scoring just 15 times in as many matches.Embed from Getty Images
What is Canada’s Best Starting XI?
Over the course of the tournament, all 22 players on the Canadian roster featured for the side. This included goalkeepers Kailen Sheridan, Sabrina D’Angelo and Stephanie Labbé.
From the outset, Canada struggled to cope with the pace and skill of the hosts.
Over 90 minutes, the visitors managed to retain only 39% of possession with 2 shots on goal and none on target.
France finally broke the deadlock in the 55th minute after a superb Viviane Asseyi strike denied Sheridan a clean sheet.
A rare defensive error by Desiree Scott gifted the hosts a free kick just outside the area.
Despite playing the majority of their second game with an extra woman, the Canadians still struggled to retain possession. Their goal-scoring woes also continued, registering only four shots on target.
The game ended goalless.Embed from Getty Images
Heiner-Moller’s failed experiment must end before 2020 Olympics
In a closed-doors match against Brazil, due to concerns over coronavirus, the Canadian coach named a 3-5-2 formation.
This gave Rebecca Quinn and Gabrielle Carle the nod over Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence.
Marta was able to outpace the Canadian back-three with ease for her opening goal. And a lapse in concentration from veteran Labbé allowed the Canarinhas to double their lead through Ludmila da Silva 10 minutes later.
Canada has previously struggled while employing three defenders across the back against highly-ranked opposition. They fell 4-0 to Japan this past October.Embed from Getty Images
Instead of having additional freedom down the wings, the new formation left Canada overly exposed.
It compromises attacking play; wingers are tethered to the defense and the back three struggle to cope with high blocks.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looming on the horizon and an ever-shortening list of fixtures with which to develop a clear tactical vision for Canada, it’s back to the drawing board yet again for Heiner-Møller.
Hopefully, the failed use of a back-three will be left where it belongs – in the past. And Canada’s woes will subside.