My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
All Times in British Summer Time (BST).
FULL-TIME Canada 1-0 China
Canada win thanks to Christine Sinclair’s penalty. Canada win their first ever opening fixture, China lose theirs whilst once again, the first game of the Women’s World Cup sees a goal. Canada very, very lucky.
90+2 Mins – GOOOAL CANADA 1-0 China (Sinclair Penalty)
Christine Sinclair places the ball in the bottom left corner, hits the inside of the post. Wang Fei goes the right way too.
90+1 Mins – CANADA PENALTY
Oh drama, Zhao Rong is deemed to have elbowed Adrianna Leon. Christine Sinclair places the ball on the spot.
Belaganer crosses to the near post, where under pressure from Sinclair, Wang Fei claims the ball at the second attempt.
88 mins – CHINA SUB
Ma Jun replaces Gu Yasha in China’s final sub. Can they hang onto this draw?
Sophie Schmidt picks up the ball and shoots from 25 yards and the ball goes narrowly wide of the top left corner.
Sinclair has a shot deflected into the box where Schmidt is waiting. She can’t get the ball under control, and sets up Sinclair who tries to side-foot it into the bottom corner – but she doesn’t get the required power and it is an easy save for Wang Fei.
77 mins – CANADA SUB
Adrianna Leon replaces Melissa Tancredi in Canada’s final change.
Allysha Chapman’s dangerous cross nearly picks out Christine Sinclair, and although it comes off Li Dongna’s head, a goal-kick is given.
76 – RECORD CROWD
55,058 people are in the ground. The biggest crowd in Canadian soccer, either men’s or women’s games.
Canada give the ball away again in their own half, but once again Buchanan is clever as she wins the foul off Wang Shanshan
Desiree Scott’s wait for her first Canada goal continues as she is replaced by 17 year old Jessie Fleming for her 17th cap.
Loose pass by Desiree Scott is intercepted by Han Peng, who is optimistic from 25 yards and her shot goes well over.
Free-kick from Schmidt is launched into the box, and the ball bounces between players before Desiree Scott fired over. She is still looking for her first international goal.
Better from Canada as they get behind the full-backs, but Kyle’s cross is claimed by Wang Fei
62 mins – CHINA SUB
China make their second sub with Zhang Rui replacing Li Ying, to win her 61st cap.
61 mins – CANADA SUB
Kaylin Kyle comes on to win her 96th cap, replacing Jonelle Filigno.
Wang Shanshan picks up the ball just outside the box, but good defending as Buchanan draws the foul. Some nervous moments with great balls from China first from Han Peng down the left and then Ren Guixan trying to pick out Wang Shanshang. Again superb defending from Buchanan.
China’s keeper Wang Fei has been very confident, but she nearly commits a howler. She takes a heavy touch from a pass-back, and only just makes the pass as Melissa Tancredi closed down.
China win a corner after Desire Scott tackles Wang Shanshan in the box. Gu Yasha’s effort is poor and Canada clear.
China kicks off the second half, at the second attempt. Who will get the breakthrough? Will Canada crumble with the fan expectation?
HALF-TIME – Canada 0-0 China
Half-time in a very entertaining match and both sides have hit the woodwork. Who will get the first goal of the tournament? We’ll find out in 15 minutes.
A cross from Buchannan picks out Tancredi at the far post, and she tries to nod the ball down to Sinclair, but in the end the ball goes out for a goal kick. Buchannan seems to have injured herself with the cross. The surface to blame? She looks fine to continue though.
Canada have a free-kick just in the Chinese half. For a moment, it looks like Erin McLeod might trouble the keeper, but in the end it was simple for Wang Fei.
42 mins – China Substitution.
Hang Pen is replacing the very impressive Wang Lisi who had hit the crossbar. Injury?
Incredible defending from China. A ball from Belanger into the box takes a deflection to break through to Christine Sinclair in the box and then in quick succession Christine Sinclair, Ashley Lawrence and Sophie Schmidt all have shots blocked by defenders.
China have a free-kick from 35 yards after Buchanan foul Li Ying. What do the Chinese do this time? Wang Lisi plays it down the right-wing to Gu Yasha who crosses it into the box wher Zhao Rong heads wide at the near post, under pressure from Buchannan.
Sophie Schmidt has lots of confidence after that wonder goal against England, and she tries from 20 yards but the effort goes over.
Canada have a free-kick, 35 yards from goal. Schmidt puts a decent delivery, but once again Wang Fei comes up and claims the ball. The Chinese keeper is very confident in her handling.
27 mins – CLOSE
Allysha Chapman’s nerves get to the better of her as she gives away a tournament needlessly. But Wang Lisi’s delivery is claimed well by keeper Erin McLeod.
First chance for Canada from a free-kick on the left-wing. Sophie Schmidt’s delivery falls to Kadeisha Buchanan at the far side, but her two shots are superbly saved by China’s keeper Wang Fei.
Canada kicks-off the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
You can really tell who is hosting the tournament after those anthems.
Of course, FIFA have had a difficult past week with the events that are well known. Today, is where football take centre stage. Here come the national anthems.
This age difference of course means Canada have more experience. Their squad have 1,772 caps between them with five players with over 100 caps. Christine Sinclair has 222 caps and 153 goals. Whereas China have only 775 caps between them, with Gu Yasha the most capped with 87 caps.
There is an English connection with Canada, as they are managed by County Durham’s John Herdman. He was in charge as Canada beat Team GB in the 2012 Olympics Quarter-Finals as they went onto win bronze. There is a big age difference. China are the 5th youngest squad whilst Canada are the 3rd oldest. The oldest Chinese player is Ren Guixin, a 26 year old midfielder. Canada’s is their keeper Karina LeBlanc, 35 years old with 110 caps. However, it is Canada who have the youngest player in Jessie Fleming who is just 17 years of age – although she has 15 caps.
China have the better head-to-head record, beating Canada 14 times. However, Canada have won the last five ties. China are also unbeaten in their opening World Cup matches, whilst Canada have yet to win it. Both teams want to forget the 2011 tournament. China failed to qualify as they lost the third place play-off in the 2010 Asian Cup to eventual World Cup winners Japan. And Canada failed to get a single point, and only scored one goal.
China have the better record in the tournament, having at least reached the quarters five times, whilst Canada have only reached the knockout round once where they finished fourth. In 1999, China lost to America on penalties which saw 90,185 people watch the final.
China hosted the first Women’s World Cup in 1991, when due to FIFA worrying about ‘damage to their World Cup brand’, the trophy was known as the M&M Cup. They lost to Sweden 1-0 in the Quarter-Finals. China were also due to host the 2003 World Cup, for the SARS epidemic to require the USA to take over hosting duties. They met Canada in the quarter-finals for the only time so far in the World Cup, but it was Canada who won 1-0. When they hosted it again in 2007, they once again lost in the quarters – this time to Norway
Canada are hosting the tournament for the first time, but they have hosted the U20 tournament on two occasions. They will want to at least replicate 2002 (when it was a U19 tournament) where they reached the final, although they lost the final to USA. Their captain, Christine Sinclair won both the player of the tournament and top scorer with 10 goals. They also hosted it last year, where they lost in the quarter-finals to Germany.
Today may have seen Barcelona crowned as European champions for the fifth time. But that achievement pales into significance with the start of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – the seventh edition of the tournament. I will be trying to provide live text, reports and other content to every single game of the Women’s World Cup…if my body clock will conform.