CALAIS, France — Despite playing with a numerical advantage for most of the second half, Canada had to settle for a 0-0 draw with the Netherlands on Saturday at the Tournoi de France.
The third-ranked Dutch were reduced to 10 players in the 49th minute when goalkeeper Lize Kop was sent off for a challenge at the top of the penalty box.
The eighth-ranked Canadian women pressed but were unable to score. Defender Vanessa Gilles, pushed up front, had a glorious chance in the 94th minute when Jordyn Huitema found her unmarked in front of goal. But her shot flew high.
"We wanted to have another chance at the Netherlands after the FIFA Women's World Cup and I think we showed some good perseverance," said Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller.
"Sometimes when you're playing against 10 players, you force things. I think we had some great opportunities, but unfortunately couldn't find the back of the net."
The Netherlands finished second at the 2019 Women's World Cup, losing to the Americans in the final. In the preliminary round of that tournament, the Dutch beat Canada 2-1.
"We drew the FIFA Women's World Cup silver medallists and even 11v11 in the first half I think we looked the better team. I think with this performance, we’re stepping up our game and will be ready for Brazil on Tuesday (in Canada's final match of the tournament)," Heiner-Moller said.
Gilles was making her first-ever start for Canada — and her second senior appearance.
Canadian midfielder Jessie Fleming hit the woodwork from a tight angle in the 69th minute. Inessa Kaagman hit the crossbar for the Dutch in the 13th minute.
Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo posted the fourth clean sheet of her career.
Captain Christine Sinclair was one of three starters to give way at the start of the second half. Diana Matheson came on for the final 45 minutes for her 205th cap.
The Dutch were without star striker Vivianne Miedema, who left the team's previous 0-0 draw with No. 9 Brazil because of an injury.
Canada opened the four-team tournament with 1-0 loss to fourth-ranked France.
France defeated Brazil 1-0 later Saturday to lock up the tournament title with one game remaining.
Players dispensed with the traditional pre-match handshakes Saturday because of the new coronavirus. Instead, the players bumped elbows although the referee forgot and shook the hand of the Dutch captain Sherida Spitse after the coin flip.
The Dutch sent defender Aniek Nouwen and goalkeeper coach Erskine Schoenmakers home prior to the game as a precautionary measure. The team was following protocol to limit their social contacts in case of a cold, cough or a fever although it said neither had a fever.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2020.
The Canadian Press