Sinclair saves the day for Canada with late winner

Sat Jun 6, 2015 10:25pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

EDMONTON (Reuters) - An injury time goal by Christine Sinclair from the penalty spot lifted Canada to a nail-biting 1-0 win over China on Saturday to get the Women's World Cup off to an electrifying start.

Canada coach John Herdman had declared on the eve of the opener anything less than victory would be a disappointment and Sinclair made sure the capacity crowd of 53,058 went home happy when she coolly slotted home a low shot to the right corner.

"That's what we wanted, the three points, that was the most important part," a beaming Herdman told reporters.

"In the 90th minute, cometh the moment, cometh the woman, outstanding from Christine Sinclair.

"The pressure on, there's only one woman in the world who can get up and do that."

Canada had dominated much of the play but could not crack the Chinese wall until Adriana Leon was brought down heavily by Zhao Rong in the box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot.

There was no doubt who would take the shot.

Canada's all-time leading scorer Sinclair, who made her national debut when she was 16 and has been a cornerstone of the team ever since, notched her 154th international goal. Only Americans Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm have scored more.   Continued...

Canada forward Christine Sinclair (12) celebrates scoring a goal on a penalty kick against China goalkeeper Wang Fei (not pictured) during the second half in a Group A soccer match in the 2015 women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports