Canada beat New Zealand to reach women’s World Cup second round
Grenoble (France) (AFP) – Canada beat New Zealand 2-0 in a women’s World Cup Group E game in Grenoble on Saturday to cement a place in the second round and leave the Kiwis on the brink of elimination.
Earlier in Valenciennes, the Netherlands saw off a spirited Cameroon 3-1 to also move to six points in the group and secure their place in the last 16.
Canada had beaten Cameroon 1-0 in their opening game while New Zealand had battled hard before losing to an injury-time Dutch goal.
On Saturday, Canada again dominated and bombarded the New Zealand goal with 22 total strikes, 11 of them on target.
The Canadians took the lead after 48 minutes.
Nichelle Prince raced down the left wing, where the New Zealand defence had struggled even before right back C.J. Bott went off injured in the 17th minute.
Prince cut in along the goal line and then pulled a precise pass back to Jessie Fleming who side-footed the ball inside the far post.
Prince added a second after 78 minutes, poking home a rebound from close range after Christine Sinclair’s powerful downward header hit the inside of the post.
Despite the assist, it was another frustrating evening for 36-year-old Sinclair who is chasing retired American Abby Wambach’s record of 184 international goals.
Sinclair remained on 181 goals for Canada after nodding the ball against the bar in the first half, skying a shot from a precise low cross by the outstanding Janine Beckie early in the second and hitting the post before Prince’s goal.
Canada and the Netherlands meet in Reims on June 20 to decide who will top the group.
At the same time, New Zealand will play Cameroon in Montpellier. As things stand, a win could be enough to take either team through to the second round as one of the four best third-place teams, although that could change by kick off.