Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, celebrating her 100th senior cap for her country, wore the captain's armband in the match. Prior to the match, her teammates had prepared her a giant dolphin-shaped cake to celebrate. They didn't think to ask whether or not she actually likes dolphins (they're OK, in her opinion), and she didn't think to ask why the icing on the cake read "Happy 6th Birthday Timmy"; instead, they all laughed and enjoyed the well-meaning gesture.
McLeod, for her part, celebrated the occasion -- and also marked a throwback Monday, this is totally a thing now, maybe -- by meticulously gelling her hair into 100 dangerous-looking multi-coloured spikes. Two soccer balls were deflated, a la Lisa Simpson playing volleyball, during the pre-game warmup. Also the referee brought some noise about "dangerous to opposing players" or whatever jazz that's all about, probably some new rule no one's ever heard of 'cause maybe she's Norwegian lolololo amirite?
Anyway, after a 15-minute delay in which the Swedes put together their own chairs and tables on which to enjoy a snack of pickled herring, the game eventually got started.
Canada's lineup featured the usual suspects plus Jessie Fleming (who'll be a usual suspect before long) and Allysha Chapman. There is no evidence to suggest she has anything to do with the company that produces ice cream, but there is also no readily-available evidence, so we'll assume that she's totally an heir to an ice cream empire.
The first half consisted mainly of the players quoting articles from The Economist to one another, boastfully comparing their two countries' liveability indexes and similar such markers of their greatness. Then someone spoiled the fun by mentioning the relative conditions of the nations' aboriginal populations, making everyone feel all bashful and eager to change the subject.
That change of subject did wonders for the soccer-playing element of the game, as just before the half, Sophie Schmidt -- through sheer force of will alone -- caused the ball to materialize into the path of Jonelle Filigno who (we can only assume) literally scythed her way through the Swedish defence to score the game's only goal. That was met with congratulations from most of her teammates, with the exception of Kaylyn Kyle, who scoffed, "That's not how they use a scythe where I come from!"
Hey, yeah, the second half happened too, and the players -- certainly not the author of this piece, no way -- ran out of creative ideas so there wasn't much to report. Canada head coach John Herdman, continuing his ongoing experiment of observing the game from different vantage points, drove to a nearby 7-Eleven and ordered (reportedly) a large raspberry Slurpee. "Full credit to the girls," he later said. "They had a tough go of it, I think. Couldn't see much of the game, truth be told, but it's all a process. We want to be on that podium next year!"
Indeed you do, John. Indeed you do.