The Canadian women’s soccer team was knocked out of medal contention after a 3-0 quarter-final loss to Japan Monday at Stadio Ciro Vigorito in Benevento, Italy.
FISU.TV (Semifinals and finals only)
Canada will face Republic of Korea, who dropped a narrow 2-1 (4-1 PK) quarter-final decision to Russia, with a spot in the consolation final on the line. The match is set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. EDT / 8 a.m. PDT (5 p.m. local) at Stadio Pinto in Caserta.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Team Canada head coach Peyvand Mossavat. “The goals they scored were small errors on our part. We talked from the start of this campaign about maximizing our potential and getting better every day and this was by far our best performance. The score doesn’t justify the performance. I’m so proud of the girls.”
Canada put on the pressure early and had a few good chances to open the scoring with two corner opportunities and a free kick in the first 10 minutes of the match. However, Japan got on the board first as Mitsuba Ibaraki sent a long shot that was too hot to handle for Canadian keeper Myriam Labrecque in the 11th minute.
“We were unlucky. We had some chances early in the game and we had to put those away. It was unfortunate on the first goal they scored but I’m proud of the team. They did really well.”
Japan almost took a two-goal lead in the 27th minute as Hinako Suzuki received the ball all alone in the box but her shot sailed wide of the net. They did extend their lead to two just before the half though, when Sara Imada redirected a ball into the back of the net.
Canada kicked it into high gear out of the half and had a decent chance to score in the 48th minute as Kristen Sakaki came sprinting down the left side of the field and fed Jessica Bunker for a nice shot from in close, but Japanese goalkeeper Mai Fukuta came up with the save.
In the 56th minute, Queen’s Gaels standout Jenny Wolever had a great footrace down the field that resulted in a corner opportunity but Canada was unable to convert.
Imada put the game out of reach, scoring her second of the match in the 80th minute.