Posted on July 25, 2012
COVENTRY — Canada could not overtime a two-goal, first-half deficit and suffered a 2-1 Group F defeat to Women’s World Cup champion Japan in the opening Olympic match for both teams on Wednesday night.
The Japanese found the back of the net behind Nahomi Kawasumi (33rd-minute goal) and Aya Miyama (header in the 44th minute).
Melissa Tancredi sliced the margin half for the Canadians in the 55th minute, but they could not get any closer. It was Tancredi’s fifth goal of the year and 19th of her career.
“I knew I would have to attack fast,” she said. “They move the ball so well. I had to get in front of my defender and get it in.”
The Canadians were ready for what the Japanese were going to bring.
“Our defense were prepared to deal with wave after wave,” Tancredi said. “It was great to see. When your defense are working that hard, you need to raise your game and we did that. It shows the team’s character. ”
Canada will play South African in a must-win game here on Saturday while Sweden takes on Japan in the first game of the doubleheader.
“That will be a hell of a game,” Tancredi said. “Sweden are great defenders. Japan are great in attack. That’s a game I’ll be watching. Sweden will give them a run for their money. I’ve no favorites so I’ll watch and enjoy.”
Melissa Tancredi scored Canada’s lone goal in the 55th minutes. Scott Bales/YCJ
Categories: Canada, North America, Olympic Qualifying, Women
Tags: 2012 London Olympics, Melissa Tancredi