My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Amber Hearn missed penalty 33
New Zealand made just one change from their defeat by the Netherlands, whilst Canada named the same starting eleven that had beaten China.
The first action of the game was the referee suspending play due to lightning strikes, as the referee counted less than 30 seconds between the thunder and lightning.
Once action restarted, New Zealand had the game’s first chance. Ria Percival’s free-kick picked out Amber Heard whose powerful header forced Erin McLeod to tip the ball over.
Slowly Canada started to find their feet and they produced a couple of great chances. Sophie Schmidt’s ball into the box found Jonelle Filigno whose header forced Erin Nayler into a flying save. Then Ashley Lawrence played Christine Sinclair through on goal, and she tried to chip the oncoming keeper, but Nayler produced a reactive save.
And then New Zealand won a penalty when Allysha Chapman was adjudged to have brought down Hannah Wilkinson in the box, it what seemed to be a harsh decision. Amber Heard fired the penalty high down the middle but watched in agony as the ball hit the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time, Canada had a goal disallowed. Schmidt’s free-kick was headed goalwards by Filigno where Melisa Tancredi got a touch to change the ball’s direction away from Nayler, but the assistant correctly ruled Tancredi was offside. If she had not made contact, Nayler would have been left with an easy save.
Canada started the second half strongly. Desiree Scott’s ball into the box was headed by New Zealand’s captain Abby Erceg towards Sinclair, whose volley brought an incredible save from Nayler to tip the ball onto the bar.
A free-kick on the right nearly brought Canada goal as Schmidt’s mishit delivery forced Nayler to back-track and tip the ball onto the bar.
In the final 15 minutes, Canada created two glorious opportunities. Sinclair found Tancredi in acres of space, she took her time before shooting straight at Nayler. And then Josee Belanger’s driven cross picked out Sinclair, but she could only watch in despair as her shot crept wide of the left post.
Woman of the Match
Erin Nayler – New Zealand.
Canada: Erin McLeod, Josee Belanger, Kadeisha Buchanan, Lauren Sesselmann (Carmelina Moscato 68), Allysha Chapman, Melissa Tancredi, Desiree Scott (Adriana Leon 73), Ashley Lawrence, Jonelle Filigno (Kaylyn Kyle 63), Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt.
Booked: Allysha Chapman 31.
New Zealand: Erin Nayler, Ria Percival, Rebekah Stott, Abby Erceg, Ali Riley, Annalie Longo, Katie Duncan, Betsy Hassett (Katie Bowen 77), Hannah Wilkinson (Jasmine Pereira 89), Amber Hearn, Sarah Gregorious (Rosie White 80).
Missed Penalty: Amber Hearn 33.
Booked: Ria Percival 52, Sarah Gregorious 71.