Sinclair scores historic goal, Canada inches closer to Olympic spot

Canada has taken another step in securing an Olympic spot in women’s football with a 6-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, which also included a historic goal for Christine Sinclair.

Its second match of the regional (CONCACAF) qualification tournament in Houston started and ended similar to the first, which was a 5-0 win over Guyana. The one major difference on Sunday compared to the first win was that long-time national team servants did the early damage, whereas young players had led the way against Guyana on the scoreboard.

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It took 24 minutes before Canada could get on board. The opening goal came from veteran midfielder Diana Matheson, who was sent through on goal by Josee Belanger. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Matheson neatly placed the ball under Kimika Forbes’ arms while the keeper guarded the Trinidad and Tobago net.

Another long-time Canadian international Melissa Tancredi got the second goal for 2-0 just before halftime. She was then substituted for Sinclair around the hour mark setting the stage for women’s football history.

Two minutes from entering the match, a completely unmarked Sinclair strolled in to the opposition third after beating an offside trap 40 yards from goal. Taking her time as Forbes advanced, Sinclair placed a hard, low shot inside the near post for senior career goal number 159, the second most all-time among international women’s players ahead of retired U.S. player Mia Hamm. Only Abby Wambach – also retired – now has more goals than Sinclair with 184.

Canada received its next three goals from the youth contingent, when Kadeisha Buchanan, Janine Beckie and Jessie Fleming all added their names to the score sheet.

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By virtue of its second win and a 2-1 Guyanese victory over Guatemala, Canada is guaranteed a spot in the semifinals of the qualifying tournament, where a win will seal the Olympic spot for Rio 2016.

Canada’s final round robin match will be against Guatemala on Tuesday.