Tancredi's clever assist deserves another look | Soccer | CBC Sports

Tancredi's clever assist deserves another look

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 12:26 PM

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Canadian striker Melissa Tancredi gets tripped up by Haiti's Carmela Aristide during Canada's 6-0 win Thursday night at the CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying tournament in Vancouver. Canadian striker Melissa Tancredi gets tripped up by Haiti's Carmela Aristide during Canada's 6-0 win Thursday night at the CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying tournament in Vancouver. "Tank" is known not only for her toughness, but also her deft touch on the ball. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

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While most of the conversation around Canada's 6-0 victory over Haiti surrounded the four-goal performance of captain Christine Sinclair (and rightfully so!), it was Sinclair's third goal of the night that was getting a lot of buzz thanks to striking partner, Melissa Tancredi.

While most of the conversation around Canada's 6-0 victory over Haiti surrounded the four-goal performance of captain Christine Sinclair (and rightfully so!), it was Sinclair's third goal of the night that was getting a lot of buzz thanks to striking partner, Melissa Tancredi.

If you missed it, Tancredi showed off her skill and vision on the field with one simple play. With her back to the goal at the top of the 18-yard box, Tancredi controlled the ball, flicked a lob over her head and onto the path of a running Sinclair. And with that, Sinclair picked up the 10th hat trick of her career.



It's that bit of skill which has made Tancredi, a 30-year-old native of Ancaster, Ont., a mainstay on the national program since 2004.

"Tank" has become a fan favourite for her toughness, creative touches and gregarious personality, but she's also drawn the ire of coaches for taking risks at the wrong time. (Blind back-heel passes in the middle third of the field, slow back passes to defenders, etc.).

Coach John Herdman said he wants his team to get over the 'fear of failure' that has plagued them in the past and take calculated risks, especially in the offensive third.

This time - and perhaps going forward at the tournament - Tancredi took the right risk at the perfect time.

Her assist from last night's game was one for the highlight reel, it may not top her dancing skills (seriously, this is some of best entertainment around), but you be the judge.



Sesselmann says she's 'OK'

Canadian defender Lauren Sesselmann suffered a scary looking knee injury in the waning minutes of the opening half after a collision with a Haitian player. The Wisconsin native, who has Canadian ties through her Newfoundland-born father, clutched her knee immediately and could be heard crying in pain.

She was treated by medical staff and came back on the bench after halftime with her left knee wrapped in ice.

No official word from the Canadian Soccer Association on her status, but the 28-year-old did tweet after the game: "Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers everyone! I'm ok and you'll see me back out there soon! We have the best fans ever!! #CanWNT"

Since joining the national team in September, Sesselmann has filled a much-needed void at leftback for the Canadians.

Haitian 'keeper in hospital  

Haiti goalkeeper Ednie Limage was hospitalized overnight with what her coach described as a possible spinal injury.

Limage was injured in the second half after coming off her line for a high ball and colliding hard with teammate Samantha Marie-Ann Brand. She fell to the ground in pain, still holding the ball. She was carried off the field on a stretcher and later taken to hospital.

Haitian coach Ronald Luxieux said that Limage was "suffering quite a bit" and that he would have an update on her condition on Friday.

Limage was Haiti's best player in Thursday's game, showing a real aptitude in the air and solid hands. By the way, the 26-year-old plays for the University of Moncton Blue Eagles.

Another year older ... 

Birthday greetings to Canadian striker Chelsea Buckland. The native of Surrey, B.C., who made her fifth appearance for Canada, turned 21 on Friday.

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