Sinclair scores 183rd international goal as Canada tops New Zealand

Team Canada's Shelina Zadorsky (4) and Christine Sinclair (12) celebrate a goal by midfielder Jessie Fleming (17) with teammates during the first half of a women's international soccer friendly against Mexico at BMO Field in Toronto, Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Cole Burston/CP)

YONGCHUAN, China — Christine Sinclair scored her 183rd international goal, inching closer to setting a new record, to help Canada defeat New Zealand 3-0 on Sunday in the finale of its international soccer season.

Sinclair is two goals shy of surpassing American Abby Wambach’s record of 184 career international goals.

Janine Beckie scored the other two Canadian goals while Ashley Lawrence chipped in with two assists. Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe tied Canada’s single-season record with her eighth clean sheet of the year.

"We got the result we wanted and that is very important for the confidence of the team," said coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller. "Scoring three goals and getting the clean sheet feels very good."

Canada improved its 2019 record to eight wins, three draws and four losses in 15 matches, including 10 clean sheets, the second most in a single year for the women’s national team.

Sinclair made it a 1-0 game in the 35th minute on a header after a cross from the right from Lawrence.

Beckie doubled Canada’s lead in the 64th minute, taking advantage of a rebound after New Zealand ‘keeper Erin Nayler made a save on Jordyn Huitema. Beckie scored again three minutes later off a Lawrence cross.

Canada had other chances throughout the match. Kadeisha Buchanan hit the crossbar with a header off a set play before halftime, and 15-year old substitute Olivia Smith nearly scored her first international goal late in the game, but her shot from the right was just wide of the target.

Canada’s next international matches will come in January and February in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Canada drew into Group B to face Saint Kitts and Nevis on Jan. 29, Jamaica on Feb. 1 and Mexico Feb. 4.

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