Christine Sinclair, Canada Win 2019 Women's World Cup Opener vs. Cameroon

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

Canada's defender Kadeisha Buchanan (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group E football match between Canada and Cameroon, on June 10, 2019, at the Mosson Stadium in Montpellier, southern France. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
PASCAL GUYOT/Getty Images

Canada took an early lead in Group C at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after opening their tournament with a 1-0 win over Cameroon at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France.  

The No. 5-ranked favourites got the better of Cameroon—making their second World Cup appearance—after Kadeisha Buchanan headed in the only goal of the game.

Group E opponents New Zealand and the Netherlands will meet on Tuesday to find out whether either of those contenders can keep up with the early pace-setters.   

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Canada came into their opening fixture as major favourites and didn't pull any surprises by building an early grip on possession. They had more than two-thirds of the ball at the end of the first half, as well as twice the number of attempts on goal as Cameroon, per Flaschscore.com.

Cameroon had won two of their three previous games coming into this match but have rarely faced opposition of Canada's quality—they lost 4-0 to Spain in May and 6-0 to France in October.

Christine Cinclair made her 283rd international appearance and was looking to build on an already imperious World Cup record, per Fox: 

The 35-year-old started up front alongside Jessie Fleming, 14 years her junior, but the pair struggled to fashion many opportunities against a regimented Cameroon defence.

Coach Alain Djeumfa fielded five at the back and almost managed to make it to the break with a clean sheet intact, but not before Buchanan could strike a hammer blow to their chances of making it out unscathed.

Janine Beckie's cross to the back post found the Lyon defender in plenty of space for her fourth international goal, via Fox (U.S. only):

Journalist Laura Armstrong gushed over the scoring manoeuvre:

Canada's goal proved timely as Cameroon's frustration tactics still yielded dividends in the second period, though they were unable to mount much of an attacking threat of their own.

The African representatives managed to test goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe only once, per Flashscores.com, and allow Canada to seal their eighth clean sheet from their past nine matches.

Nigeria were the only team to score past coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller's side in that time, when they lost 2-1 to Canada in April. Cameroon couldn't replicate the feat and will look to improve against the Netherlands on Matchday 2.

      

What's Next?

Canada will next be in action against the Football Ferns on Saturday, while Cameroon will face the Dutch.

    

This article will be updated to provide more information soon.

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