[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT] It will be hard for any team at the Women's World Cup to disappoint quite like Canada. Carolina Morace's women entered the 2011 finals full of optimism after winning the 2010 Concacaf championship and heading to Germany with a 10-1-2 record in 2011. But Canada's hopes went up in smoke with an embarrassing 4-0 loss to France that knocked it out of the tournament.
The Canadians were second best to France in every aspect of the game. They coughed the ball up on the plays that led to the first two goals.
They were a bit unlucky on the first goal when after Sophie Schmidt was dispossessed and a shot deflected to a wide-open Gaetane Thiney in the area, but the Canadian defense fell apart in the second half.
Thiney's second goal came after defender Emily Zurrer lost the ball on the edge of the penalty area.
Camille Abily was given acres of room to score on a header off a corner kick for the third goal, and Elodie Thomis completed the rout with a breakaway.
“The first goal was a stupid goal,” Morace said. “The second? Exactly the same.”
The defeat was particularly painful for Canadian star Christine Sinclair, who played with a face mask after breaking her nose in the opening game against Germany and then taking a clearance from other WPS rival Sonia Bompastor in the face late in the game.
The loss hurt badly for the Canadians, who will host the next Women's World Cup.
Morace says the Canadian Soccer Association must raise the level of the women's game.
“We have to decide what we want to do,” Morace said. “If we want the national team to be top level in the world, we have to do something organized in Canada. But not amateur level — it must be high level … for example, the league.”