ORLANDO, Fla – The weight of the world was on the shoulders of Canada’s women’s national team players as they battled the United States on Thursday in their opening match at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup.
The US won 2-0 behind a Mallory Swanson brace in a match the Canadian women played under protest.
Understandably, the confident, compact, and disciplined Canadian side looked out of sorts from the opening whistle. After dealing with budget cuts and fighting their federation for equality away from the pitch, Canada looked rattled as the US came out in full force looking to capitalize on an emotionally drained Canadian team.
“This game, leading into it, could have gone one of two ways,” Canada captain Christine Sinclair told reporters postgame. “Either we’re fighting for everything and we come out on fire or we come out flat. I think you saw in those first 10-15 minutes, we came out flat. I think we looked like a team that was tired, a team that was mentally exhausted. They’re defending World Cup champions for a reason and you have to be at your best to compete with them and we weren’t today.”
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