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2019 Women's World Cup

Christine Sinclair (still) isn’t interested in discussing that scoring record

Photo: Canada Soccer

MONTPELLIER, France — Match day is finally here for Canada, who will take on Cameroon at Stade de la Mosson as both teams look to kick off World Cup Group E action with massive win.

No. 5-ranked Canada is relishing the opportunity to show the world what they can have to offer. Christine Sinclair looks primed to close in on Abby Wambach’s all-time international scoring record of 184 goals. Sinclair enters the World Cup with 181 goals.

Canada wants to win at all costs. It’s not about who or where the goals come from. Sinclair’s pursuit of Wambach has generated a lot buzz, but it’s also come as a distraction. She is growing tired of being asked the same questions over, and over again.

“We’re not talking about that,” Sinclair joked with reporters.

The media frenzy surrounding the Portland Thorns FC striker has picked up in the last year. Sinclair scored four goals at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship tournament in October. In eight games this year, Sinclair has scored four goals, and added two assists.

In a World Cup year, she continues to find the net, and the attention has followed.

“I think it was probably in and around qualifiers last fall,” Sinclair described all the extra attention she has been getting. “When the goals kind of just kept going in. This year has been just building, and building. With the attention of the World Cup it adds to it. Definitely not my focus now.”

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In a tournament with the stage that a World Cup brings, it’s all about wins, improving, and advancing to the next round. Personal accolades, achievements, and noteworthy milestones are nice, but it’s little consolation if it doesn’t come with team success.

Sinclair has always and will always be team first.

“As long as we win. As long as we win, I don’t care,” Sinclair said.

Canada, and Sinclair are squarely focused on Cameroon. The task at hand involves starting the World Cup on the right foot, and not taking their opponent for granted. Cameroon has speed to burn. Striker Gaëlle Enganamouit, put on a show at the 2015 World Cup, which included a hat trick against Ecuador.

Canada’s back line will have to be cautious against the pace of the Indomitable Lionesses.

There’s almost a sense of confidence and swagger among Canada’s opponents. They don’t come into the match against Canada, or any other side with fear, or worry.

Cameroon expects to cause some noise and upset some teams.

“We are professionals,” Enganamouit explained to The Equalizer. “The World Cup is a big competition in the world. We are really excited and everybody wants to play. We’ll just wait and see.”

No. 46-ranked Cameroon has faced some challenges leading up to the World Cup. Cameroon lost 4-0 to Spain on May 17, and 1-0 to China on April 7. Despite those losses, Cameroon is ready to recapture the magic they found at the World Cup four years ago.

“We are going to do a lot of surprises.” Enganamouit said confidently.

In 2019, Canada’s defense has been fantastic with a 6-0-2 record, and one goal against. With the Netherlands, and New Zealand looming, Cameroon will be in tough vs Canada.

“I think it’s just the unexpected,” Sinclair said, describing Cameroon. “We don’t have a ton experience playing against African countries. We played Nigeria earlier this year, and I think that was huge for us to get used to the chaos. They’re going to be athletic, and very direct. It’s just about us putting our stamp on the game. Trying to be calm, cool, and not get caught up in the franticness that they’re going to try and create.”

Canada are without a doubt the favorite in Group E, but that doesn’t mean anything. The World Cup has the potential to produce major upsets, and Canada will want to make sure they are locked in and ready for a Cameroon side that will give them their best.

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