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Canadian U-20 women open World Cup with six goals against Argentina

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Adriana Leon
Canada went into its opening match of the U-20 Women’s World Cup as heavy favourites over Argentina. When the Argentines saw defender Agustina Barroso sent off in the sixth minute for a professional foul in the penalty area against Canadian forward Christine Exeter, the writing was on the wall. The Canadians scored five first-half goals — three of them from Adriana Leon — and went on to a comfortable 6-0 win in Kobe, Japan. Canadian coach Andrew Olivieri had clearly identified the Argentines as the minnows of the group, and decided to give two of his top players — forward Nkem Ezurike and midfielder Christabel Oduro — the night off, as Little Big Red has group-stage matches to come against North Korea and Norway in less than a week. North Korea defeated Norway 4-2 on Monday. And Olivieri’s confidence in the squad he named was rewarded early in the match, as Exeter pounced on a lazy pass in the Argentine back four, and strolled in along on goal. Barroso brought Exeter down in the area and was sent off. Shelina Zadorsky converted the ensuing penalty. Jaclyn Sawicki doubled the advantage with a lovely chip from just outside the area that curved into the goal — the most picturesque marker of the evening. Then the Leon show began; the third of her goals was the prettiest, a rocket into the top corner. With the score 5-0 at halftime, the Canadian U-20s didn’t keep their feet on the gas, but did add a sixth as Catherine Charron Delage converted an open header in front of the Argentine goal. For full match highlights, click HERE. RELATED: Canadian coach says group stage at U-20 Women’s World Cup offers variety of challenges (CLICK)

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