Canada opens Olympic soccer tournament with 1-1 draw with host; Whitby’s Sheridan replaces injured Labbe in second half

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Published July 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm


Soccer legend and Canadian icon Christine Sinclair scored her international record-breaking 187th goal for Canada – in her 300th appearance – as the Red & White opened the 2020 Olympic tournament with a 1-1 draw with host Japan this morning.

Sinclair, in her fourth Olympic Games, scored in the sixth minute but Mana Iwabuchi replied in the 84th with a long strike to give the host nation a precious point.

Canadian ‘keeper Stephane Labbe was called for a foul on Japanese striker Mila Tanaka in the 57th minute and was injured while doing so. She stayed in the game to save the penalty and a Japanese flurry that followed but then left the game, to be replaced by Kailen Sheridan.

Canada is a two-time bronze medalist at the Olympics, earning medals in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. Sinclair scored the game-winner against Brazil five years ago.

Japan won silver in London but did not make the cut for Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Group play continues on Saturday with Canada facing Chile and Japan playing Britain at the Sapporo Dome. Earlier Wednesday, Britain defeated Chile 2-0.

Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/AP

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