Canadian women qualify for Olympic soccer competition
Published Saturday, January 28, 2012 9:31PM EST
Canada's women's soccer team has netted a decisive victory, securing the squad a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
Star forward Christine Sinclair scored twice to lead the team to a 3 – 1 victory over Mexico in a crucial Olympic qualifying match played in Vancouver Friday night.
Canada now joins the highly-ranked United States squad as one of 12 teams that will compete in the London Summer Games tournament.
Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, praised the women for continuing the success they saw during the Pan Am Games when the women's team won their first-ever gold medal in soccer.
"They have maintained the momentum and will have the entire country supporting them all the way to the Olympic Games and beyond," he said in a news release.
During Friday's match-up, forward Melissa Tancredi booted Kelly Parker's pass from the edge of the six-yard box in a move that locked up Canada's third goal.
The goal elicited raucous cheers from a record crowd of more than 22,000 soccer fans at Vancouver's BC Place Stadium.
"We brought every part of the game this tournament. I think we brought the physical side, the finesse," she told The Canadian Press.
"We played around the back, we passed it around really good at times. I think we're on our way to becoming an excellent team."
Coach John Herdman has been credited with encouraging the team to reinvent themselves after an unsuccessful quarter-final exit from the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"They've bought into a new style and a new philosophy and a new self-image of themselves as footballers," he told CP.
Veronica Perez scored Mexico's lone goal 67 minutes into the game.