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Kara Lang scores three goals as Canada defeats Mexico 6-0 in women's soccer


September 05, 2003

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) - Kara Lang was quick to share the credit after scoring three goals while captain Charmaine Hooper was just happy to get her 100th game behind her as Canada tuned up for the women's World Cup with a 6-0 exhibition win over Mexico on Thursday.

"It was a team effort," said Lang, 16, of Oakville, Ont., after Canada outscored Mexico 14-0 in a two-game exhibition. "We played really well. I just happened to be the one that ended up putting them in the back of the net." Hooper, 35, who has played more games and scored more goals wearing a Maple Leaf than any other Canadian, helped set up a second-half goal by Sasha Andrews.

"It was just another game," shrugged the Ottawa native. "I'm just happy to have got to this point.

"We've been talking about it for the last month or so and so many things could have gone wrong until 100. Now it's just a matter of staying healthy and playing as many as possible after this."

A flag-waving sellout crowd of 6,210 squeezed into Swangard Stadium and saw Canada break open the game with three second-half goals in a span of five minutes.

Rhian Wilkinson and Clare Rustad also scored as Canada extended its unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1). The national team improved to 31-21-7 since Even Pellerud took over as head coach in the fall of 1999.

It was the second lopsided win in five days for Canada, ranked 12th in the world, over No. 31 Mexico. The Canadians beat the Mexicans 8-0 on Sunday in Edmonton.

Lang opened the scoring in the seventh minute when she drilled a shot that deflected off Mexican defender Monica Christine Gonzalez Canales and past the goalkeeper.

Lang made it 2-0 in the 31st minute when she launched a ball from 35 yards out that arched into the net just over the outstretched fingers of Mexican goalie Jennifer Marie Molina Shea.

In the 57th minute, Lang found the net again with a shot from 25 yards out. She now has 19 goals in 29 national games.

Lang said trouncing Mexico twice hasn't over-inflated the Canadian team's confidence heading into the World Cup.

"Mexico isn't even qualified for the World Cup," she cautioned. "The calibre is going to be much higher.

"We have to be prepared for that."

For the second consecutive match, and just the second time in her 16-year career with the national team, Hooper started playing defence. But it didn't stop her from demonstrating her offensive skills.

In the 29th minute, Hooper gained control of the ball near the top of the box, dribbled across the field through several Mexican players, then drilled a low, hard shot that Shea flopped on.

In the second half it was Hooper's corner kick that set up Andrews' goal.

Hooper's 100 caps puts her well ahead of the 82 Randy Samuel earned playing for the men's national team between 1983 and 1997. Hooper's 57 goals are triple the 19 that both John Catliff and Dale Mitchell scored for the men's team.

Mexico didn't threaten until extra time in the first half when Patricia Perez Pena got in behind the Canadian defence but sent her shot wide.

The win extends Canada's win streak over Mexico to 10 games. During that streak, the Canadians have outscored the Mexicans 38-4.

In their last five meetings Mexico has scored just one goal.

Canada's next game is Sept. 14 in Kingston, Ont., against Australia.

The team's first World Cup match is Sept. 20 against Germany in Columbus, Ohio.

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