Canada's women's soccer team brilliantly bounced back on Saturday night at Nocera's San Francesco Stadium, prevailing 1-0 over South Africa to reach the quarter-finals of the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade in Italy.
Katherine Bearne’s goal in the 17th minute allowed Canada (1-1-0) to get their first win in the group stage, after dropping their opener 4-1 against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The women in red and white finish the round-robin in second place of Group A, allowing them a quarter-final berth against Japan (2-0-0).
“Today is a good Canadian win,” said Canadian assistant coach Cindy Tye. “We scored early and we defended very, very well for the whole game. I’m very proud of them.”
“Coming in to this game, we knew what happened and what we had to do,” said Bearne, a midfielder for the Ottawa Gee-Gees. “What we saw today is our work that we put in. It’s good for us to get the win, but we all think there are things we can improve on what we are trying to build.”
"We did a lot of video to adjust to what South Africa was doing,” added winning goalkeeper Myriam Labrecque. “Here at these Games, you have to adjust quickly, and we did it well. It was difficult for 90 minutes, but we were very well organized and very effective defensively."
The Canadians will only have 48 hours to prepare for their quarter-final match against Japan, which will take place Monday night starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. local time).
“It’s a very short turnaround for us, we only have a day of rest and then we play Japan. We are going to focus on recovery,” said Tye, who did not hide her amazement at the beauty of the San Francesco Stadium and the surrounding landscape.
“It’s pretty nice, we can’t complain! Sometimes you just have to look up and see where you’re at. I told the kids to look at the flag on their chest when they get a bit tired to help give them a bit more of energy.”