WWC 2015: Best and worst of Match Day 9 – Group A

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Our daily guide to the best and the worst of today’s Group A action in the 2015 Women’s World Cup!

The best and worst of Group A

What Happened?

The game was very much a case of the Empire striking back with China taking one point away from their 1-1 draw against New Zealand.

Rebekah Stott scored the opener for the Football Ferns after a corner managed to make its way towards her in the crowded box for her to send the ball with sheer force into the back of the net.

Unluckily for New Zealand they were only in the lead for 13 minutes before China struck back. Betsy Hassett was called out for a handball in the penalty box with replays later showing the ball in fact hit her stomach and head. China’s Wang Lisi stepped up and converted the spot kick.

This gave China a bit more momentum in the match and later in the second half they went into the lead after a very interesting header.

Wang ShanShan accidentally pirouetted into the keeper and during the collision somehow managed to head the ball into the goal. The technique was interesting to say the least and was very worthy of the goal it resulted in.

The young Chinese side seemed to burst with energy and the excitement of almost securing the win of the match seemed to have clouded their mind, as they lost focus and for Hannah Wilkinson to score the equaliser.

Both sides struggled to gain an ascendency as the match finished 2-2 for China to qualify and New Zealand to finish last.

Canada impressed in one of their best performances in the World Cup so far, showing off their powerful attacking style against the Dutch early with a goal in the first ten minutes.

Despite a great performance, the result didn’t swing in favour of the hosts who were unable to hold onto the lead after conceding an equaliser from in the 84th minute.

The Canadians’ goal came only ten minutes into the match after a blocked cross flew to the feet of Ashley Lawrence who took full advantage.

As the match wore on, Manon Melis was proving hard to contain even by the aggressive Canadian defence, at one stage forcing a fantastic save from Erin McLeod.

The Netherlands eventually scored the equaliser as a slick pass to Kirsten Van De Ven provided the ultimate finish.

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It was a disappointing score for the home team who after such a magnificent performance really should have won the match.

Stand out performers

Canadian Kadeisha Buchanan was the stand out of the day. The 19-year-old made constant runs up and down the left hand side of the field, making some great plays and defending.

Talking Points

The penalty awarded to China was a very controversial part of the game against New Zealand. At first look it seemed as though the ball had hit the hand of Betsy Hassett when in reality the replays show that the ball hit her chest and head.

What it means

The draw between China and New Zealand gave enough points for China to go through into the next round of the World Cup but sadly this was the end of the journey for the Football Ferns who will be heading back home.

Canada topped the group which will see them take on the third-place team from either Group C, D or E. The Netherlands will almost certainly go through as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Needs work

Netherlands and Canada had 16 shots on goal but were only able to convert one each. Both sides will need to amp it up a notch to ensure that they can go into the further stages of the World Cup.

What’s next

The hosts will take on the third-placed team from either Group C, D or E. China will be battling the second-placed team in Group E.

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New Zealand will head home. Netherlands will be sitting, waiting, wishing.

Goal of the Day

Everyone loves seeing a great combination of team work and this goal certainly epitomised that. The final shot by Kirsten Van De Ven earned the Oranje a point from the match and this will be crucial for them to see if they can make it into the next stage of the World Cup.

Miss of the Day

Miss of the Day goes to the many misses made by the Chinese team following the equaliser by New Zealand. In particular the miss by ShanShan which went just a touch wide from the goal and crushed China’s hopes for a victory from the match.

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Jessica Csaszar
Jessica joined the team for 2014 covering Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League.

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