Soccer

Christine Sinclair's brace leads Canada past Mexico

Christine Sinclair scored two goals and Nichelle Prince added a single as the Canadian women's soccer team defeated Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday at the International Tournament of Natal.

Women's national team posts 3-0 victory in Brazilian friendly

Canada's women's national team, including two-goal scorer Christine Sinclair, left, cuts off an opportunity for Mexico during Canada's 3-0 victory in a friendly in Natal, Brazil (Vlademir Alexander/Allsports)

Christine Sinclair scored two goals and Nichelle Prince added a single as the Canadian women's soccer team defeated Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday at the International Tournament of Natal.

All three goals came in the first half of the opening friendly at the Arena das Dunas.

Sinclair opened the scoring in the 15th minute and added another goal six minutes later. Those goals put Sinclair one goal away from tying Mia Hamm (158) as the second all-time scorer in women's soccer, behind Abby Wambach (184) of the United States.

Prince made it a three-goal game when she scored in the 44th minute.

Head coach John Herdman fielded a blend of experience and youth, including four teenagers, and gave three young players their first international "A" caps: Gabrielle Carle (17), Deanne Rose (16), and Kennedy Faulknor (16).  Jessie Fleming (17) earned her 19th cap, having debuted at this competition in Brazil in 2013.

"I am really happy with some parts of the performance," said Herdman.  "That was a top Mexican team, they looked in shape and looked ready to play. I think the fact that we were able to play couple of sixteen year old's out there, give them the debuts, it was great. Seeing Nichelle Prince score was fantastic, but more importantly, [Christine] Sinclair doing what Sinclair does, it was nice to see.  I think the girls really enjoyed it!"

Herdman's strategy on the road to the 2016 Rio Olympics includes assessing the players throughout this competition, and in sticking to his game plan he swapped out six starters for substitutes in the 66th minute en masse. 

"This period is about assessing this group. We have to have a look at them across four games and this was only the first," he said. "There's still things in there I'm not happy about, but my job here is to give people chances, and they're all going to get chances, and let's see how we come through in the next three games."

Canada will next play Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.

With files from Canada Soccer

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