On Sunday, June 21, Canada’s National Women’s Team played their first game in the knockout phase of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada. The match, which happened at BC Place in Vancouver, was attended by more than 53,000 soccer fans. Josée Bélanger scored the game’s lone goal.
I was asked after the game what I thought of the combinations that led to the goal, but I couldn’t even answer. All I could say was that I took my shot without hesitating. I had the chance to watch the action on video and see the team’s brilliant execution: our right wing back Rhian Wilkinson intercepted the ball following a header by a Swiss defender, fed it right back into the box where we had several players, and Christine Sinclair set up a perfect pass that I one-timed into the goal.
Everyone has their job and everyone does it with full focus. Switzerland had been strong so far in group play so we expected a tight match. And when elimination is on the line, the intensity goes up a notch. One thing that we can control — 100% — is the heart and soul that we put into the game. That is something that, thanks to my parents, I’ve been doing since I was little. And I can tell you that every player on Team Canada has put in the work and the dedication to help the team achieve that result. We’re a team, but above all we’re a family. My second family.
There is a reason we run to the bench to celebrate our goals: it’s because we are united and we are one.
We had the chance to play in front of a record crowd of 53,855 fans. We’re excited to see Canadians get so into this Women’s World Cup and we hope to break another record this Saturday [June 27] for the quarter finals against England at BC Place in Vancouver.
Guest post by Josée Bélanger
Sherbrooke’s Josée Bélanger wears number 9 on Canada’s Women’s National Team. She is blogging for Active for Life about the experience of representing her country in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada. Follow Josee on Twitter and Facebook, and watch as she takes over the Active for Life Instagram during the Women’s World Cup.
Image, of Joseé Belanger and Christine Sinclair celebrating the goal against Switzerland on June 21, 2015, courtesy of Canada Soccer