The victory secures the Canadians a place in the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw against top-ranked Japan in their first game of the tournament. They face Great Britain on Tuesday at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium to close Group E action. Great Britain beat No.37 Chile 2-0 in their opener.
Chile were aggressive at the start of Saturday’s game, delivering a corner from the first minute. But the Canadians took control and produced several scoring chances.
- The first was a tight call in the seventh minute as Kadeisha Buchanan took a Beckie pass into the box. After Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler saved, the ball ricocheted off Buchanan’s arm and crossed the goal line. But after a review, the goal was canceled.
- Ten minutes later, Christine Sinclair recovered the ball against two Chilean defenders in the box but was trampled by Daniela Pardo, knocking her down. Canada was awarded a penalty after a review. With Beckie taking the opportunity to score, she hit the goal post and missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring.
“It’s frustrating to miss a penalty to be able to put the team in place from the start of the match, would have been ideal, but it happens. You can’t score if you don’t shoot, so I stepped up to take it and I’m going to keep stepping up and taking them, ”Beckie said.
“My job for this team is to score goals. And you know, Nichelle Prince is amazing for putting the ball on a game for me, Ashley Lawrence, Christine [Sinclair], I have players around me who create scoring opportunities for me. So being able to reward the team with two goals is good. We came here to win. And so, being able to help by scoring two goals makes me happy. “
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In the 39th minute, Beckie had the chance to redeem herself, as a Prince cross was pushed back by Endler, and the Canadian took full advantage for a 1-0 lead.
WATCH | Canada’s Janine Beckie scores the first home goal against Chile:
At the end of the half, it was Beckie who struck again, taking advantage of a deep ball from Ashley Lawrence, passing Endler in a one-on-one situation and scoring with ease to give the lead the Canada 2-0.
Beckie now has five Olympic goals. She scored three goals at the Rio 2016 Games, where Canada won bronze for the second consecutive Games.
Canadian coach Bev Priestman had expected a tough challenge from the Chileans as they entered their Olympic debut.
“I think that’s exactly what I expected from the game. I’ve always said this game was never an easy game, ”she said. “We have sometimes made it difficult for ourselves. But at the end of the day we could have scored four goals… so I’m generally happy to have come here to score three points. This is exactly what we did. “
WATCH | Beckie doubles with another goal just minutes from the 2nd half:
In the 49th minute, Beckie had another chance to complete the hat trick but failed.
The missed opportunity brought Chile to life as a Shelina Zadorsky penalty in the box allowed Karen Araya to score from a penalty to reduce Canada’s lead to 2-1 in the 57th minute.
Chile had a chance to equalize in the 72nd minute when a close range shot hit the crossbar.
Priestman praised the play of Julia Grosso and Jayde Riviere, who made their Olympic debuts on Saturday, Grosso in midfield and Riviere on the back line.
Their contribution was further proof of the depth of Canada, which Priestman and his team will need in the Olympic tournament, especially when they leave the comfortable indoor Sapporo Dome.
“I will appeal to the depth, I think, that the players spend three nights is a big demand. And we’re going to get back to the heat now, out of the pretty air-conditioned dome we’re in right now, ”she said.
Kailen Sheridan started in goal for Stephanie Labbe, who suffered a rib injury during her heroic performance against Japan. Labbe was injured while challenging a striker inside the penalty area. She was down for several minutes but stayed in the game to stop a Japanese penalty shot. Sheridan, 24, replaced her in the 58th minute.
The Canadian squad consists of 12 members of the teams that have won bronze under former coach John Herdman at the previous two Olympics.
Eight teams will advance from the 12-country round robin to the knockout stage. The final is set for August 6 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.