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Soccer Canada and Spain finish scoreless in final warm-up ahead of Women’s World Cup

The fifth-ranked Canadian women took control as the match progressed but lacked the final touch and had to be content with a draw.

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Canada played Spain to a 0-0 draw Friday in its final warm-up match before next month’s Women’s World Cup in France.

The fifth-ranked Canadian women came on as the match progressed but lacked the final touch. The 13th-ranked Spaniards, who have one final tune-up match against Japan, did little to trouble Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé at Estadio Las Gaunas.

The teams had met just once before, with Spain winning 1-0 in the 2017 Algarve Cup final.

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Canada’s World Cup campaign opens on June 10 against No. 46 Cameroon in Montpellier before facing No. 19 New Zealand on June 15 in Grenoble and the eighth-ranked Netherlands on June 20 in Reims.

Spain, which won all eight of its World Cup qualifying matches, is in a group with No. 2 Germany, No 16 China and No. 49 South Africa.

The draw means Canada will go into the World Cup unbeaten in 2019 with a 5-0-3 record. It has conceded just once this year, outscoring its opposition 7-1. Canada’s most recent loss was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the top-ranked United States in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship last October.

The Canadian women headed to Europe on the heels of a 3-0 win over Mexico on May 18 at Toronto’s BMO Field.

On Friday, Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller fielded what looks to be his preferred starting 11 for the tournament.

Labbé was in goal behind a back four of Allysha Chapman, Shelina Zadorsky, Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence. Desiree Scott anchored a midfield that also featured Sophie Schmidt and Jessie Fleming with captain Christine Sinclair up front flanked by Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie.

The Canadian starting 11 totalled 1,120 caps. Prince, who earned her 50th cap on the day, was the least-experienced player.

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At times, the Canadian defence featured five players strung across the back line.

There were few chances in an even half. Spain came closest with a carefully calculated long-distance shot by Virginia Torrecilla from just inside the Canadian half of the midfield circle in the 26th minute. The shot had Labbé backpeddling and then leaping with a protective hand held high, but the speculative shot went just over the Canadian crossbar.

Schmidt had put a looping shot from outside the penalty box on target a minute earlier, but it went straight at Spanish keeper Lola Gallardo.

Teenage striker Jordyn Huitema came on for Beckie to start the second half. The Canadians had a strong start after the break with Schmidt almost finding Prince with a through ball early on.

Huitema shot just wide in the 57th minute after a deft layoff from Sinclair off a throw-in deep in the Spanish end. Sinclair, off a Lawrence cross, then sent a header right at Gallardo in the 62nd minute.

Rebecca Quinn, Jayde Riviere and Adriana Leon came on for Schmidt, Chapman and Prince in the 70th minute.

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Leon had a chance in the 82nd minute when Lawrence found her in the penalty box, but a sliding Spanish defender blocked her shot.

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