Leon hattrick ensures Canada ease past Paraguay into next round

February 25 – Canada controlled their second Group C match against Paraguay from start to finish in the Shell Energy Stadium in Houston to guarantee qualification for the knock out rounds that begin next weekend in Los Angeles.

A hattrick from Adriana Leon and a second W Gold Cup goal from starlet Olivia Smith put the game well beyond Paraguay.

Canada will have tougher and more testing games to come. Such has been the ease of their opening two group games it is difficult to assess how good this Canadian team is until those bigger challenges arrive.

But you can only play what is put in front on you and Canada have impressively dealt with those tasks so far. Paraguay will need to rethink their game plan for their final group game against El Salvador and play with more adventure if they want to guarantee progression from the group.

Both Canada and Paraguay had opened Group C  in Houston with wins. Canada had dismantled El Salvador 6-0 with ease while Paraguay had muscled their way past Costa Rica 1-0.

Canada had not conceded a goal for five games with their last loss being against Brazil in October last year in a pair of matches that saw them lose the first 1-0 but win the second 2-0.

Paraguay lined up with a deep back five, becoming six, with a deep three in-front, forcing Canada to bring the game to them to beat their block.

Canada used the width but Chloe Lacasse on the left and Leon on the right had little space to work with.

Canada’s first good opportunity came from a Leon corner that centreback Vanessa Gilles headed wide on 8 minutes. Five minutes later a diagonal ball from the right found Deanne Rose in the middle but her close control didn’t give her enough time to beat an advancing  Cristina Recalde in the Paraguay goal.

A Leon shot from outside the box on 20’ went over the top. Canada were using different points of attack on the Paraguay block and were starting to unpick it.

On 25’ Leon had the ball in the net. A ball through to Rose…

Source link : https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2024/02/26/leon-hattrick-ensures-canada-ease-past-paraguay-next-round/

Author : Paul Nicholson

Publish date : 2024-02-26 00:17:29

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