Canada kicks off World Cup right; Argentina gets draw
Kadeisha Buchanan scored the lone goal at the end of the first half and Canada held on to defeat Cameroon, 1-0, in the Women’s World Cup on Monday night in Montpellier, France.
Buchanan charged into the box on a corner kick and her header bounced into the goal. But all eyes were on her teammate Christine Sinclair, who is four goals away from becoming the sport’s all-time international top scorer.
Sinclair sits at 181 goals, trailing only former US forward Abby Wambach, who had 184 goals in international competition to set the record among men and women.
The Canadian captain’s free kick was blocked and cleared away in the 51st minute, and she had another good chance in the closing minutes. She had scored in the opening game of each of her previous four World Cup appearances.
Cameroon was a surprise at the 2015 World Cup, advancing out of the group stage before falling to China in the round of 16.
Argentina 0, Japan 0 — Argentina earned its first-ever point in the Women’s World Cup by holding the 2011 champions and 2015 runners-up scoreless in Paris.
Argentina lost its previous six World Cup matches in 2003 and 2007, and missed the 2011 and 2015 tournaments. Argentina had been outscored 33-2 in the six previous World Cup matches prior to Monday’s opener against Japan.
‘‘For women’s football in Argentina it is great that we are starting to flourish,’’ Argentina coach Carlos Borrello said. ‘‘We are starting on our way and just starting to face up to these powerful forces in football.’’
Argentina offered little threat but was compact and tough for Japan to break down. It took until the 50th minute for them to test goalkeeper Vanina Correa, who stopped forward Kumi Yokoyama’s low shot from about 35 meters out. Minutes later Japan midfielder Yui Hasegawa botched a good chance, swiping left of the goal from close range after a cross from the right.
Correa then palmed away a low cross from the right in the last minute and was hugged by her teammates at the final whistle.
Japan is just 1-2-4 this year.