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Matheson, Zurrer star as Canada beats Scotland

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Diana Matheson, left, and Emily Zurrer
When Christine Sinclair was asked in December about which players she thought had benefited the most from the possession-and-passing style of Canadian national women’s team coach Carolina Morace, she didn’t have to think long about the answer.

Midfielder Diana Matheson. While Sinclair is no doubt the face of Canadian women’s soccer, Matheson has flourished as the distributor under Morace. She displayed her worth Wednesday in Canada’s 1-0 win over Scotland in the opener of the Cyprus Cup.

Matheson struck the post with a first-half attempt, and it was her corner that found the head of teammate Emily Zurrer for the game’s only goal.

What was key for Canada today as it prepares for the women’s World Cup is that the players have to know there’s now a book out on them. After a year of great results, opposition coaches are looking at Canada as part of the elite tier of teams; and that means Morace and her troops are going to have to be ready to see more and more teams playing in ultra-defensive systems against them. Scotland didn’t take many chances, refusing to get pulled out of shape. Their mantra was to work hard and stay organized.

Canada will likely see this again, so this team needs to do what it did today, be happy to grind out a win against a side that doesn’t really want to go up and down the field.

Only negative from the game? The attendance. According to the match report, there were, cough, 15 people in the stands.

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