Buchanan scores and Canada holds off Cameroon 1-0

Ruben Hill
June 12, 2019

The defender, who plays club football in France for Lyon, struck from a corner at the end of the first half to give Canada a 1-0 win in Montpellier.

Canada improved its record against African opponents at the tournament to 2-1-1, having defeated Ghana (4-0 in 2007) and drawn and lost to Nigeria (3-3 in 1995 and beaten 1-0 in 2011).

European champions the Netherlands open their Group E account against New Zealand in Le Havre on Tuesday.

Estelle Johnson had only played one game for Cameroon, but found herself in the starting lineup against Canada.

Still in a game short on goals, Cameroon, which changed its formation in search of more offence in the second half, had its chance to pull even. Claudine Meffometou nearly had a replay of Buchanan's goal in the 70th minute but her header off a corner was just wide.

"We take our defence very seriously", said Buchanan, who scored the lone goal against Cameroon and was named player of the game.

7 - 2019 marks Canada's seventh consecutive appearance at the Women's World Cup.

And they will be hoping Cameroon will not be another one-off victory on the road, as they look to improve on their best-ever finish - fourth in 2003. The squad posted a record of 2-0-2 in Canada, scoring nine goals while conceding four.

It is rare Cameroon venture beyond their borders, unlike the two other teams from Africa competing at this World Cup, their preparations against worldwide teams has been limited to a 1-0 loss to China in April and a 4-0 defeat by Spain in May. In 2015, Cameroon beat Ecuador and Switzerland in round-robin play to finish second in Group C, a surprise result for the debutant side. Michaela Abam, who did not get on the field, was born and raised in Houston to Cameroonian parents. The group features three teenagers (Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso and Jordyn Huitema) and 12 players in their early to mid-20s. The overall average of the rosters in France is 26.06.

The Portland Thorns striker did have more efforts in the second half; including another header which failed to trouble the goalkeeper, a poor free-kick which was nowhere near beating the wall, and a close-range stab goalwards that just wouldn't go in. Only the Americans and Brazilians have an older side. "It is all about the environment we are in before the World Cup". The nation has never been rated higher than 43rd (in 2015). Two corners and a free-kick inside four minutes gave the early impression that this would be a whitewash but as the clock ticked on, the women in green grew in confidence and Canada's talisman, Christine Sinclair, only four shy of Abby Wambach's record haul of 184 global goals, looked more and more isolated. This also marks the fifth time she's suited up in a World Cup.

The 2015 tournament hosts threatened from the off with the 24-year-old delivering three risky set-pieces into the box inside the opening five minutes, aimed towards all-time top goalscorer Christine Sinclair - but to no avail.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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