MONTREAL — Adriana Leon was the lone scorer as Canada beat New Zealand 1-0 on Tuesday in the second leg of the Celebration Tour.
The friendly was the second match for the sixth-ranked Canadian women since beating Sweden in the Tokyo Olympics final on Aug. 6.
Canada earned a 5-1 win over New Zealand on Saturday in Ottawa in the first match of the two-game Celebration Tour.
The Olympic champions received a hero’s welcome at Saputo Stadium in the final game of the tour.
Canada began Tuesday's friendly by dominating large portions of possession but couldn’t break through New Zealand’s shape.
It took 16 minutes of work until Janine Beckie found a clear shot on target, with Leon opening the scoring by putting away the rebound.
Canada continued to dominate the ball, often having all 10 outfielders deep in the opposing half with New Zealand's Football Ferns sitting back to avoid conceding another goal. The strategy worked as neither team would record a shot for the rest of the half.
New Zealand showed more signs of life in the second half as they began to find possession in more attacking situations, but still failed to trouble Canada's defence.
It took almost half an hour of second-half play for either team to have a breakthrough when Jordyn Huitema found herself through on goal with Kiwi 'keeper Anna Leat stranded outside her box, but she put the ball wide.
Canada will now begin preparing for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers beginning in November. The Olympic champions will have the benefit of not playing under the threat of missing the tournament as both Canada and the United States have automatically qualified as CONCACAF’s top two teams.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.
Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press