SYDNEY (AP) — Manchester United winger Adriana Leon scored two second-half goals Tuesday as Olympic soccer champion Canada rallied to beat Australia 2-1 and clinch back-to-back wins in an international friendly series that both teams used as preparation for next year’s women’s World Cup.
Leon, who scored the only goal in Canada’s series-opening win last Saturday in Brisbane, finished with three for the series.
The Australians went ahead in the third minute in Sydney when Chelsea forward Sam Kerr cut the ball to her left and Mary Fowler finished off with a left-foot shot from close range.
Leon equalized three minutes into the second half after she poked in Christine Sinclair’s cross at the edge of the box.
She made it 2-1 with a 64th-minute strike after running onto a through ball from 19-year-old defender Jade Rose.
Sinclair moved into outright second place on the list of all-time international appearances when she led Canada out in her 317th game, one ahead of Carli Lloyd and 37 behind U.S. great Kristine Lilly as the most-capped player of all time.
Rose said she approached the task of marking one of the world’s best strikers as she would any other game and tried “not to get it too much into my head that it was Sam Kerr.”
It was an important win for a Canadian squad that had to overcome injuries and the long trip to Australia, which will co-host the World Cup with New Zealand starting July 19.
“At meetings we’ve talked about this as the start of our World Cup journey,” Rose said. “And I think that we sent a great message to the rest of the world.”