Canadian women's soccer team beats Brazil to win Algarve Cup
Kadeisha Buchanan named player of the tournament
The Canadian women's soccer team defeated Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday in Portugal to win the Algarve Cup for the first time in its history.
It also marks the first time Canada has ever had a top-three finish at the annual tournament.
Canada wins the Algarve Cup!<br><br>Goals from Shelina Zadorsky & Janine Beckie lifted Canada to a 2-1 win over Brazil<a href="https://t.co/YvCBG9FhxO">https://t.co/YvCBG9FhxO</a>—@CBCMontreal
Shelina Zadorsky scored in the 60th minute when she converted a corner kick from Ashley Lawrence.
"I was really excited to get that first goal and I think it helped our team with momentum," said Zadorsky. "It was a perfect ball from Ashley to the near post and I was in the right place at the right time. I am just really proud of the whole team."
Continued pressure from Canada resulted in a second goal seven minutes later from Janine Beckie. With the Brazilian defense scrambling to get back into position, Sophie Schmidt placed a ball directly in front of sprinting Beckie, who was able to slot it left and out of reach of the keeper.
"Our defensive pressure the whole game was really putting them on their heels," said Beckie. "Some great pressure from Sophie, combined with confusion in their defensive line, and I was able to put it away."
Brazil cut the lead in half in the 89th minute, but couldn't find the equalizer in added time.
We haven't won anything for a while, but we beat Brazil in the Pan Ams in our run to [the 2012] London [Olympics], so hopefully this is a good omen.- Canadian women's soccer coach John Herdman on capturing the Algarve Cup
Canadian coach John Herdman, who sat in the stands for the second half of the match, was beaming after the win.
"This is fantastic. The girls deserve that," he said. "That was their best Brazil team they put out tonight, they've been strong in this tournament but the girls, against the wind, scored two goals. They showed that team spirit really does make a difference.
"I am just really happy for them. We haven't won anything for a while, but we beat Brazil in the Pan Ams in our run to London, so hopefully this is a good omen."
Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan was named player of the tournament.
The Algarve Cup was the first step on the road to the Rio Olympic Games for Canada, as the women's team looks to better its bronze from London 2012.
It was the first tournament action for the Canadian women since they qualified for the Rio Games at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship last month in Texas.
During the Algarve tournament, Canada Soccer announced it will host two women's matches against Brazil on June 4 at Toronto's BMO Field, and June 7 at Ottawa's TD Place.
With files from The Canadian Press