Two goals by captain Melissa Tancredi earned Canada their first win over Germany in women’s international football at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.
Despite falling behind to an early penalty strike by Melanie Behringer in Brasilia on Tuesday, a well-taken brace by Tancredi ensured Canada won Group F with three straight victories.
The first half at the Estadio Nacional saw Germany take an early lead from the penalty spot after Mandy Islacker was fouled by Allysha Chapman in the Canadian penalty box. Behringer stepped up to convert her 13th-minute spot-kick past Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.
Canada’s attacking forays were not as frequent as their German opponents in the first half, but enough to produce an equaliser through Tancredi in the 26th minute. After Desiree Scott dispossessed Lena Gossling near the Germany penalty box, Tancredi took possession before hitting a left-footed shot through the legs of Germany defender Josephine Henning and past goalkeeper Almuth Schult to make it 1-1.
The remainder of the opening half saw Germany apply more pressure, but Labbe was not tested by efforts from Tabea Kemme and Isabel Kerschowski, while goalscorer Behringer was off-target with a free-kick in the 36th minute.
The Germans’ frustrations to convert their chances continued right after the break when Anja Mittag was unable to direct home Islacker’s cross in front of the Canadian goal. That proved costly for the European champions on the hour mark, as Canada went in front through a second goal from Tancredi.
Rebecca Quinn’s free-kick forward into the Germany penalty box found the Canadian captain, with Tancredi wrestling off her markers to powerfully head past Schult and make it 2-1 to the North Americans.
Having seen their early lead evaporate, Germany kept pressing forward in search of a leveller, but a lack of accuracy and confident goalkeeping by Labbe kept them at bay. Even an injury-time header from substitute Alexandra Popp failed to bring dividends for the Germans, as Josee Belanger made a decisive goal-line clearance for Canada.
The result sees Canada win Group F with three straight wins, while Germany claim second place in the group on goal difference. Both nations will play in the quarter-finals on Friday.