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Canada edged by Germany in women’s international friendly


VANCOUVER — Simone Laudehr scored from the penalty spot in the 66th minute Wednesday as Germany defeated Canada 2-1 in a women’s international friendly.

Lena Lotzen had the other goal for Germany, while Sophie Schmidt replied for Canada.

With the score tied 1-1 in the second half, Lotzen was brought down by 18-year-old Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan in the penalty area. Laudehr stepped up and blasted a shot into the roof of the net past goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

The winner came after Schmidt woke up a sleepy crowd of 15,618 at B.C. Place Stadium in the 53rd minute with a bizarre game-tying goal.

The Canadian midfielder completely scuffed her shot after taking a pass in the box from Diana Matheson, but the ball scooped up and over German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer for an unlikely equalizer.

Trailing 1-0 at the half, Canada gave up two glorious chances to Germany’s Anja Mittag that she couldn’t finish just after the break. The striker was stopped by McLeod — who came on for Karina LeBlanc at halftime — in the 47th minute, and then again in the 49th after a sloppy pass from 16-year-old midfielder Jessie Fleming and a timid challenge from 18-year-old defender Rebecca Quinn.

After Schmidt tied the score, McLeod stopped Alexandra Popp on another breakaway in the 58th minute as No. 2-ranked Germany continued to probe No. 7 Canada for a weakness that would eventually come in the 65th.

McLeod made a number of big saves as second half wore down, keeping the score respectable in a game where Germany took a while to get going before showing its class.

Canadian head coach John Herdman said earlier in the week the game was a measuring stick against one of the world’s best teams as his side continues its preparations ahead of hosting next summer’s women’s World Cup.

And while Canada showed heart, it’s clear Herdman has a lot of work to do in implementing a system that will help his team compete with the top countries in the women’s game.

Part of that plan is injecting youth into the lineup, and Canada went with four teenagers in its starting 11 — including Fleming, Quinn, Buchanan and 17-year-old Sura Yekka.

They had their moments, but were also victimized by Germany’s potent attack and pinpoint passing.

After coming close on two golden opportunities earlier in the first half, Germany finally struck in the 29th minute when Laudehr crossed a ball from the left that glanced off Mittag and right to Lotzen, who poked a shot home past LeBlanc at the far post.

The two teams were tentative out of the gate, with Canadian captain Christine Sinclair getting the game’s first opportunity when she was sent in alone in the 12th minute, only to be stopped Angerer.

Popp then nearly caught LeBlanc off her line, but the German saw her effort 40 yards out rattle off the crossbar in the 18th minute.

Canadian defender Rhian Wilkinson then nearly gifted the Germans the lead in the 24th when her sloppy pass was intercepted by Mittag, who moved in alone on LeBlanc, but could only set her shot over the bar.

Buchanan, who scored her first goal for Canada in last month’s 1-1 draw with the United States, nearly had her second in as many games two minutes later, but Angerer made a good stop off a corner.

After Germany took the lead, the visitors almost got another goal moments later, but Bianca Schmidt missed a golden opportunity from six yards out.

 
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