HOUSTON — The Canadian women’s national team couldn’t make it a clean 5-0 here, dropping the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic qualifying final 2-0 to their United States rivals.
Coach John Herdman said Saturday that Canada, who clinched an Olympic berth Friday with a win over Costa Rica, already had done the expected. A win Sunday would be unexpected for the faceoff’s perpetual underdogs, who haven’t been the Americans in 15 years.
But in the end it was a traditional script, with Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath scoring second-half goals to sink the Canadians.
Herdman did away with the veteran core that started Friday’s Olympic-clinching victory against Costa Rica, resting No.1 goalkeeper Erin McLeod and captain Christine Sinclair, who are both suffering the twinge of nagging injuries, as well as Sophie Schmidt and Diana Matheson.
Teenager Deanne Rose was also left on the bench.
It was an opportunity to give some of the younger Canadians a run at the Americans in a meaningless match before a possible reunion in Rio in August.
Though the United States asserted its dominance through the first half, the game remained scoreless at the half.
Two goals in eight minutes just after the break gave the United States a deserved lead. Canada would try to get back into the game by bringing in Sinclair, Schmidt and Matheson but it proved too little to late for the Canadians.
Canada’s Allysha Chapman, Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence were named to the tournament’s best XI.