In the opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s’ World Cup, it was only fitting that Canadian captain Christine Sinclair provided the heroics. Scoring the first goal of the event, Sinclair’s goal also stood as the game-winning goal in an emotional 1-0 win against China, ranked 16th in the world.
Adding to the drama was the fact that said goal was scored past the 90th minute of play. With the score deadlocked at 0-0, the Chinese tried to waste time, running out the clock, as the Canadian fans booed in disapproval. A key strategy for Canadian head coach John Herdman involved substituting players later in the game to attempt and create scoring chances.
Kaylyn Kyle replaced Jonelle Foligno after 61 minutes of play. His following substitution saw Desiree Scott step in for Jessie Fleming. His final decision featured Leon for Melissa Tancredi at the 77th minute.
Making her 224th international appearance, Sinclair earned the chance to score on a penalty kick in stoppage after Adriana Leon fell to the ground after contact with Zhao Rong. The goal would prove to be the 154th in her distinguished career. Statistically, Canada had possession of the ball for 62 percent, while outshooting the Chinese by a convincing 14-5 margin.
With an outstanding crowd of 53,058 fans at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, national pride ran rampant. In addition, the attendance set a new record for a national team match in Canada. The previous record was 51,936 when the Canadian men’s team played Brazil (also at Commonwealth Stadium).