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Canada battles to a 1-0 loss against France 2019 hosts in friendly

Canada and France went head to head in a Women’s International Friendly, a close Monday night match won 1:0 by the hosts in front of 11,058 fans at Roazhan Park. France scored the lone goal on a Eugénie Le Sommer penalty in the 10th minute.

CANADA 0:1 FRANCE : MATCH CENTRE & PHOTOS

The Le Sommer goal was one of two penalties in the match, with a second-half effort by Amandine Henry stopped by Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé.

Despite the early goal for France, the first half was extremely competitive between the nations ranked fourth and fifth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Both teams created several chances in the first half, with France outnumbering Canada on shots, missing the target on several, but demonstrating attacking ability as they secured a few dangerous crosses into Canada’s box.

“I think we played on France’s terms in the first half,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada Soccer Women’s National Team Head Coach. “We went down a goal very early in the half and they are a very good transitional team. We had some trouble securing the ball on the transition, but also giving it away when attacking.

“Things definitely changed after half time and I think we had a much better second half.”

Canada came out of the half-time break with more momentum, connecting well up the left with Sophie Schmidt, who replaced forward Nichelle Prince in the 39th minute, Jessie Fleming, Christine Sinclair and Allysha Chapman working well to bring the ball forward several times. Attacking up the flanks, from the backline and through the middle, Canada exposed a more offensive game throughout the second half.

“It was a pretty chance-limited game, with their goal coming after a handball, but we know we need to create much more chances in front of the goal against tier one opposition. That was something we will be taking away from this match going into the home match against Germany in Hamilton this June. We got into some good positions tonight and I do think we put some good pressure on France during the match. We had to seek the pressure after France went up early and I don’t think we took enough of the chances in play,” added Heiner-Møller.

France were awarded that second penalty kick in the 78th minute, but this time Labbé made the stop. Making her 50th international appearance, Labbé made a leaping save to maintain the score line.

“It was tough,” said Labbé after the match.  “We were playing France, one of the best national teams in the world. Defensively we were quite solid and I think this will motivate us to work even harder with the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 in mind.”

Prior to tonight, four of the last five matches between Canada and France have been one-goal games. France won friendlies 1:0 in 2015 and 2016, while Canada beat France 1:0 the London 2012 Olympic Games to take the Bronze Medal and again at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Quarterfinals. The fifth result was a 1:1 draw in a friendly match in 2013.

Canada will next play Germany at home in Hamilton, Ontario on 10 June. Canada, the two-time Olympic Bronze Medal winners will welcome the reigning Olympic Champions to Tim Hortons Field for the Sunday afternoon match (14.00 ET / 11.00 PT).

Fans can follow Canada’s journey on the road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including CanadaSoccer.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tickets for Canada vs Germany in Hamilton
Individual tickets to the Canada v Germany match are on sale via Ticketmaster.ca. Tickets to the match start as low $20 (plus applicable fees) and fans will once again be able to take advantage of a ‘Me+3’ offer in select sections.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible to receive up to 30% off regularly priced tickets. The group ticket program will continue to be offered during the individual ticket sales phase.

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