Jordyn Huitema and the Canadian national women’s soccer squad opened the 2019 Algarve Cup Wednesday, battling Iceland to a 0-0 draw.
The tournament is being played in Lagos, Portugal, with games played at the Estádio Municipal de Lagos.
Huitema, a Chilliwack native and former Chilliwack FC star, played 24 minutes against Iceland, subbing out Nichelle Prince in the 66th minute.
The teenager had a glorious chance to break the scoreless draw in the 82nd minute as she flew down the right flank and delivered a scorching hot shot on net. Iceland goalkeeper Sandra Sigurdardtottir dove to her left and knocked the ball away, a familiar sight as Canada out-shot Iceland 16-4 and held a 5-2 edge in shots on target.
“I saw a great performance from our team — a very very dominant performance in every aspect of the game,” said Canadian coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller. “But the most crucial thing in the game, we didn’t succeed on. I won’t say it’s a problem but it’s something we need to work on. We need to be able to convert more than zero out of I don’t know how many (chances).”
Canada, ranked fifth in the world, faces 20th ranked Scotland Friday. Canada is 6-1-0 all-time against the Scots.
Huitema’s team is one of 12 squads in the tournament. Canada is using the Algarve Cup as a tuneup for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which takes place this July in France. Scotland is another World Cup bound team along with the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Norway and China.
The Algarve Cup field is filled out by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal and Poland.
Canada finished fifth at last year’s Algarve Cup after finishing second in 2017 and winning the tournament in 2016.