ERFURT, Germany — Facing the best team in the world on two days rest proved to be too much for Canada. But John Herdman's side came within four minutes of holding Germany to a tie.
Linda Dallman's 86th-minute goal gave the Olympic champions a 2-1 win over Canada in a women's soccer friendly Sunday. The Canadians, who won bronze at last summer's Games in Brazil, were coming off a 1-0 victory over Rio runner-up Sweden on Thursday.
Germany's deciding goal came off a corner. Stephanie Labbe, who had replaced Kailen Sheridan at the start of the second half, cleared the ball with a punch but it went straight to Dallman, whose left-footed shot went through two players and beat the Canadian 'keeper.
Herdman, while disappointed, saw positives.
"I'm just really happy with the girls today. A big learning from this," he said. "It was really tough to (play two) Tier 1 teams in a couple of days so if it came out with even the draw, I would have been really really happy with that result.
"But to lose on a set play and a bit of a flukey goal, it makes it a little bit more difficult I think for all of us to take. But a resident performance against a fresh German team. I thought our girls, their spirit was excellent today. They battled right until the end. They just couldn't hold out."
Deanne Rose scored in the 39th minute for fifth-ranked Canada, which probably deserved a better fate on a warm sunny afternoon before an announced crowd of 10,023.
Disaster struck early for Canada when Sheridan whiffed on a left-footed clearance attempt from a backpass. The 21-year-old from Whitby, Ont., earning her third cap, bent over and covered her face in horror after the ball rolled through her into the goal.
Canada pulled even late in stylish fashion after a beautiful Janine Beckie cross from the right flank eluded three German defenders and found Rose who beat diving German goalkeeper Almuth Schult with her left-footed shot to the far corner.
Beckie made space for herself prior to the cross, allowing a pass to run through her legs to Sophie Schmidt who sent the ball back to the Houston Dash forward for the well-aimed cross.
It was the sixth goal in 26 appearances for the 18-year-old Rose.
Herdman said the decision to pull Sheridan at halftime was "performance-related."
"You've got feel for her," he said. "You have one of those (mistakes) in a 20-year career usually. Hopefully for Kailen, it's out of the way now. That's the one, she doesn't have to think about that one any more."
Herdman said his team would have had a lot more energy if it had not played just days earlier.
"I'm pretty comfortable with that performance, not the result," he said.
Canada's record against Germany dropped to 1-14-0. The lone win — by a 2-1 margin — came in Olympic group play last summer. The Germans rebounded to dispatch Canada 2-0 in the semifinal.
"These kind of teams prepare us for where we want to go and a 2-1 result against the world's No. 1 is obviously not good enough for us," said Beckie, who scored the winning goal against No. 6 Sweden. "And I think that's a big statement.
"There's a lot of players in that locker-room very disappointed that we walk away with a loss in this game when we competed. And (showed) we can play with the world's best."
Adriana Leon came on in the second half for her first appearance for Canada since the 2015 World Cup.
Herdman also sent on Nichelle Prince, Lindsay Agnew, Marie Levasseur and Shannon Woeller in the second half. Woeller, a defender who plays her club football for FF USV Jena in Germany, was a late call-up to replace the injured Rebecca Quinn.
It was Woeller's 17th cap and her first in five years.
The Canadian Press