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Canada boss Priestman blames ‘pressure’ after World Cup exit

Bev Priestman spoke after her side were knocked out of the tournament Down Under.

Melbourne (Australia), 31/07/2023.- Canada's coach Bev Priestman during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 soccer Group B match between Canada and Australia at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, 31 July 2023. (Mundial de Fútbol) EFE/EPA/JOEL CARRETT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Canada’s World Cup campaign ended following a 4-0 defeat to Australia on Monday.

Australia and Nigeria progressed from Group B, with Ireland and the Canadians sent packing. The result was Australia’s biggest margin of victory in a Women’s World Cup match.

Canada boss Bev Priestman spoke after her side were knocked out of the tournament Down Under.

Priestman blames pressure

Priestman says the difference between the side that won Olympic gold and the one that exited the World Cup at the group stage was “pressure and belief”.

“When we went into Tokyo I’m not sure anybody thought we would win an Olympic gold medal. I did. The team did. But I’m not sure anybody (else) did,” Priestman said after the defeat.

“You’re coming into a very difficult group (B at the World Cup).

“There’s pressure. And you’ve got that target on your back. That’s new territory. And I think that’s the difference … it’s belief and pressure for me.

“At half-time (with Canada trailing 2-0) I told them, ‘I believe. Do you believe? We have to stick together, we have to believe.

“My (four) substitutions at half-time were trying to be brave and bold and chucking the kitchen sink at it, and that’s all we tried to do.

“We had a gameplan, but it’s behaviours within that. It’s behaviours of getting up to the ball, playing forward, running at players.

“I keep saying the word but ‘belief,’ and the group I’ve got in front of me are world class players and can be a world class team. We just need to believe it.”


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