Christine Sinclair (#12) celebrates after converting the penalty kick that gave host Canada over China in the FIFA Women's World Cup on June 6, 2015 in Edmonton. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, Canada - Christine Sinclair converted a penalty kick in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to give host Canada a 1-0 win over China in the opening match of 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday in front of 53,058 fans at Commonwealth Stadium.
The Canadian captain slotted her attempt just inside the left post after Adriana Leon was fouled inside the box by Zhao Rong.
“It was an amazing atmosphere to go out and play this opening match of the World Cup in front of 50,000+ fans,” said Canada’s Sophie Schmidt, who was selected as Player of the Match by the FIFA Technical Study Group. “The Chinese sat back and challenged us to come at them, and finally something went our way. Then Sincy [Sinclair], Oh Captain my Captain, came through and I’m just glad she put that in.”
In a tightly-contested Group A encounter, both sides hit the woodwork in the first half.
Lisi Wang's left-sided free kick from 25-yards out for China crashed off the crossbar and then the right post, before it was cleared from danger.
Afterwards, Canada right-back Josee Belanger ran on to a pass poked out of the box by Schmidt and in a fluid motion drilled a right-footer off the crossbar.
Canada will return to action on Thursday, when it faces New Zealand, also at Commonwealth Stadium.