Centre back Kadeisha Buchanan scored the breakthrough goal on the eve of halftime, and that proved to be enough for Canada to collect the win.
Canada, ranked fifth in the world, had 69 per cent of possession in the first half and seven corners to Cameroon’s two, but only managed two shots on target to Cameroon’s one. The African nation entered the tournament ranked 46th. It was the first-ever meeting between Canada and Cameroon.
Canada came into the match with a 1-1-1 record against African opponents at the tournament, having defeated Ghana (4-0 in 2007) and drawn and lost to Nigeria (3-3 in 1995 and beaten 1-0 in 2011).
Canada now heads to Grenoble where it faces New Zealand on Saturday.
Schmidt, who has a total of 184 caps with Canada, is now the second-most experienced player on Canada behind Christine Sinclair. Her current club team is the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
The W.J. Mouat grad has also played professionally in Germany, and helped lead Canada to bronze medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.