Canada’s Christine Sinclair closing in on goal scoring record


Canada's Christine Sinclair. (Peter Power/CP)

It’s been almost four years since Canada and England faced each other in women’s soccer.

In front of over 54,000 spectators at B.C. Place in Vancouver, England earned a 2-1 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a match that saw the visitors pounce on two early mistakes by the hosts. England went on to finish third at the competition.

While Friday’s friendly in Manchester certainly doesn’t have as much riding on it, it will be a battle between two of the world’s top teams, and serve as valuable preparation for both sides ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France.

Here’s a closer look at the history between Canada and England over the years:

3 — England’s current spot in the world rankings. Winning the recent SheBelieves Cup moved The Lionesses into third. England’s highest ranking came a year ago at this time when it sat second. England comes into the match versus Canada winners of seven of its last 10, along with two draws and one loss. Canada is ranked fifth.

9 — Canadian striker Janine Beckie, who plays her club soccer in England, will be facing nine of her teammates from Manchester City of the FA Women’s Super League.

10 — The number of players on the Canadian roster who were on the team that lost to England in the 2015 World Cup quarterfinals (Erin McLeod, Stephanie Labbe, Kadeisha Buchanan, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming, Desiree Scott, Sophie Schmidt, Adriana Leon and Christine Sinclair).

12 — Canada and England have squared off a dozen times. The Canadians won five of those meetings, and interestingly, there has never been a draw. Canada’s last win over England was a World Cup tune-up in May 2015 in Hamilton, when Sophie Schmidt’s tally in the 23-minute proved to be the difference. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod earned the clean sheet in the victory.

20 — Defender Shannon Woeller is on the verge of making her 20th appearance for Canada. Last summer, she told Sportsnet how she was looking forward to making up for lost time with the national team.

23 — Keep your eye on defender Vanessa Gilles, as the 23-year-old could make her national team debut. She’s currently suiting up for Bordeaux in France’s Division 1 Feminine where she’s made 18 appearances this season. Gilles had an outstanding college career at the University of Cincinnati, winning a number of awards, including conference first-team accolades. She actually suited up for France’s U-23 squad last fall as she holds dual citizenship, but when Canada came calling in early 2019, the Ottawa native elected to represent her country of birth on the international stage.

23 — The number of players on Canada’s roster for this game. Two familiar faces, Diana Matheson and Rebecca Quinn, weren’t added due to injury. Although Adrianna Leon is part of the roster, she won’t play due to a pulled quad.

25 — Janine Beckie’s next goal will move her into sole possession of sixth place on Canada’s all-time scoring list. She’s currently tied at 24 with Andrea Neil.

137 — The most experienced member of England’s roster is midfielder Karen Carney. The 31-year-old has scored 32 goals in 137 appearances. She was the fourth woman to reach the 100-cap milestone.

179 — Christine Sinclair’s current international goal total, six away from breaking Abby Wambach’s 184 all-time record. She scored her first goal versus England at the 2009 Cyprus Cup, while she most recently found the back of the net against England during the 2015 World Cup in Vancouver.

1995 — Their first meeting between these two nations was during the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden — Canada’s inaugural match at the tournament, then called the FIFA Women’s World Championship. England scored all three of its goals in the second half. Helen Stoumbos and Geraldine Donnelly netted Canada’s goals.

2013 — The last time Canada played The Lionesses in England dates back to April 2013. The friendly in Rotherham saw Ellen White beat Erin McLeod in the 92nd minute to guide England to a 1-0 win.

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