Canada opens with three points, Buchanan nets winner


Kadeisha Buchanan’s header before half-time was the eventual game-winning goal lifting Canada past Cameroon in the opening match of Group E of the Women’s World Cup in Montpellier, France on Monday night.

Buchanan after the match was seen with her teammates hooping it up in a circle of celebration and even took a shot in the air, like another Canadian team going after the championship in the NBA.
The Canadiens came out with plenty of possession and pushed Cameroon back in the early stages. There were a number of chances and opportunities throughout the first half.
Then, in the 45th minute, Janine Beckie sent one of many corner kicks flouted towards the back post. Buchanan made a strong run for the ball and got her head on it, which bounced past the Cameroon keeper NDom into the back of the net.
“As we keep (Cameroon) in the game, it will be tighter, we wanted to score early to get the pressure off our backs,” Buchanan said. “On the goal, it was a great cross from Janine and just to finish was easy. It’s crucial to get little gimmicks out and we keep the momentum going and we’ll be better. I’m happy for the goal and many more to come.”
This year has been an exciting start for Canada with the way the team has played coming into the World Cup. The team hasn’t lost a game and now has six victories and three draws. But most important starting out in Group E, Canada has earned an all important three points in its opening match and has only allowed one goal all year.
“Heading into an away FIFA Women’s World Cup, we hoped that the echo from our Canadian fans back at home will carry us through our month in France,” Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller said. It’s so special to play in a FIFA World Cup You don’t get this moment back. That can be pressure for some, but it can also provide excitement. We know we have the support from back home and that’s very important for us.”
Canada might have ha a bit of jitters in their opening match, but the Canadians handled it very well to not only get the victory but a clean sheet too from keeper Stephanie Labbe and its strong defense.
“We needed more than a few minutes to get the jitters out,” Heiner-Moller said. “We knew coming into the first game is a difficult one and a crucial one. We knew coming into this that some of the favorites are not coming out with three points. When your controlling the ball and controlling the game then the small mistakes creep in. (Cameroon) looks for the counter attacks and they have some fast players up front. I was happy with our performance, but there were some jitters.”
Cameroon made its first trip to the World Cup four years ago, 2015 in Canada making it into the second round before losing to China. They were a big surprise to many teams but Canada was ready to play Cameroon.
“We saw that Canada was well prepared for the game,” Cameroon head coach Alain Djeumfa said  “We prepared our structure and formation pretty well. Canada you look at ranking, they are fifth and we’re 46th. We were going in as underdogs, we needed to defend and tried to go in with a counterattacks. Still, satisfied with the way the girls played. Canada was a more mature team, we knew with the ways we saw that they were playing, we were still able to put them in some dangerous situations. What we wanted to do was to close the game. But, Canada scored one goal and if they didn’t score than it would’ve been a draw today. That’s the name of the game of football.”
Canada next plays New Zealand in its second match of pool play in Group E on Saturday in Grenoble, France.
Match Summary
Canada – Buchanan (Beckie) 45′
Cameroon – Ndoumbouk (caution, unsporting behavior) 37′
Cameroon – Enganamouit (caution, elbow) 74′
Canada – Labbe, Lawrence, Zadorsky, Chapman, Scott, Schmidt, Prince (Rose 75), Beckie, Fleming, Sinclair.
Subs not used: Quinn, Huitema, Rievere, Carle, Sheridan. Leon, Woeller, D Angelo, Andrew. Hellstrom.
Cameroon – Ndom, Manie, Ajara (Enganamouit 68′), Lueko, Johnson, Onguene, Fuedjio, Yango (Meyoung 82), Awona, Meffometou, NdoumBouk (Akouba 67).
Subs not used: Enjangue, Mani, Ebena, Sonkeng, Mambingo, Mbeleck, Takounda, Abam, Ongmahan.

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