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Deficient Canada sends England into football heaven
It was expected to be the weakest of the four quarterfinal matches at least in regards of the performance of the victorious team. Though you could expect it would be more entertaining than USA – China because it would be more evenly contested than that. And everything lived up to its expectations.
But that is football and that are great tournaments. That is why things happen like Denmark or Greece getting European Champions and why gambling has its fair share not only off but also on the pitch. It has been the same story throughout the tournament that you see teams struggle to be playing good enough to create chances and goals if the opponent is at least of half decent quality.
And I would estimate that throughout the tournament a very low percentage of goals came from decent passing or combination play where at least two players of the attacking team are playing the ball before the goal scorer finally nets in. It was one out of seven in the quarterfinals. And the only one was a high looping ball from the defense simply served into the box about somewhere only to be headed in because of power and height advantage. No playing skills at display here as well.
And that peaked in this particular game where 2/3 of the goals were poor gifts despite at least some class was shown in converting the gifts into goals. Apart from that it was a constant battle to string two or three decent passes together from either side. With England on the lead being obviously the more confident and capable and the ones who didnt need to get anything extraordinary going up front but to keep a clean sheet after they had allowed Canada to come back in the game and bring the audience to live again who seemed to have disappeared after the 2:0.
But it simply was not enough from Canada who – similar to England – have come thus far based on defense only and riding their luck up front. Canada played 5 games which makes 7.5 hours of football in this world championships and have in 7.5 hours not been able to score a single goal where the goal scorer got the ball by an intentional pass from a team mate. You have on the other hand to applaud them for achieving to get into the quarterfinals with such lack of offensive quality nevertheless. It was quite remarkable. You certainly can imagine the Swiss – if they havent already done so – banging their heads a few times against some decent solid alpine rocks for losing out against them. At least after having watched this game. Who knows whether they will be presented such an opportunity to reach a big semifinal again.
England have made the most of it and that now may bring them on such an emotional high that you can see them win at least one other game. It has been already a quite confident display and their best game during the championships. They have looked more likely to getting the 3:1 lead than Canada the 2:2 draw for most of the time with Taylors fine curled effort coming closest only to be denied by a big safe from McLeod. On the other side it was Schmidt who had the biggest chance after a cross from Chapman but missed the target high from about 6 meters out.
Apart from that a solid defensive performance from England was enough to keep Canada out of the box for most of the time and you could see the nerves being difficult to handle from a number of Canadian players giving away some balls poorly. Nevertheless kudos to them for being a showcase how far you can get when you put in an immense amount of desire. Hopefully they are able to bring better footballers like young Fleming into the squad in the near future to add some football quality to their desire level.
Player of the match: Taylor
England worked well as a team and had no outstanding player. So I decided this because her goal was a rare display of extra class that helped decide the game and reminded the visitors of being at a world championship quarter final.
Player Ratings England (0-10)
Ok but the goal
Solid defense – and a goal.
Reliable and solid as ever though hardly contested.
As always the rock in the center of the backline.
Solid in defense. Has had games with more offensive actions though.
Since she was put on the right wing she started to play football. And it worked.
As solid as usual.
Again a solid physical performance to protect the space in front of the box. Still more offense wanted
The sometimes lonely initiator who clearly lacked support when going forward.
High work rate and solid. But a defense only “10”.
She converted her chance when she got it. Seems not so much happy as lonely goto player up front.
Player Ratings Canada (0-10)
Very solid performance again with some good saves.
Very cautiuos and reluctant in offense. Better defensively
Kudos for managing to stabilize after her fault. Nevertheless clearly lacking confidence.
Was never beaten by any opponent player but didnt help the offense
Ok defensively but way too nervous in attack. At least lively
The WSL player. Did at least well defensively.
Simply wasnt her day. some unlucky situations.
The real good player in the midfield hardly found others to play with her.
Up one for the goal. More initiative than before but rarely looked dangerous.
Tried but could never initiate anything threatening.
Because you dont get a lesser rating for a WWC quarter final