Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Has to Settle for 0-0 Draw with New Zealand at Women's World Cup

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Has to Settle for 0-0 Draw with New Zealand at Women's World Cup

Article excerpt

Canada ties New Zealand at Women's World Cup

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EDMONTON - Canada remains on track at the Women's World Cup but question-marks are being raised along the way.

Poor finishing cost the Canadian side in a 0-0 draw with New Zealand on Thursday night. And for the second game in a row, there were defensive wobbles despite the clean sheet.

The Canadian women are 8-2-1 in 2015, but have scored just 12 goals in those 11 games. They have just four goals in their last seven games.

The defence is stingy, giving up just five goals in 2015. But Canada is a team that cannot afford to waste chances in front of the goal especially on a night like Thursday when New Zealand 'keeper Erin Nayler was on her game.

Canada coach John Herdman had all but guaranteed a win before the match against his former team. He did not back down afterwards but his bravado seemed somewhat subdued.

"I thought we were the better team but we've got to find the back of the net," said Herdman. "That's our challenge going into the next game.

"The good news is we're still top of the group, we've got a positive goal difference and we're going to Montreal with some real clarity on where we're at."

The single point all but assures Canada (1-0-1) of advancing to the second round, but the order of finish in Group A will go down to the wire.

In the earlier game at Commonwealth Stadium, No. 16 China beat the 12th-ranked Netherlands 1-0 on a 91st-minute goal by Wang Lisi.

The results tightened up Group A, leaving Canada with four points, the Chinese and the Dutch on three and New Zealand on one.

Herdman said six points is always the magic number to get to the knockout rounds.

"But four points is good. I mean we can't finish last in the group," said Herdman.

Four third-place teams from the six groups advance to the round of 16, so third is nothing to sneeze at. But talking about not finishing last in the group is hardly the stuff of Vince Lombardi.

Herdman then took another tack, saying Canada is still in the driving seat to finish atop its group.

"All in all, another solid performance from Canada," he concluded. "Let's find the back of the net and give these fans a bit more to cheer about, and let a coach relax and enjoy the game a bit."

The Canadians leave Friday for Montreal where they will wrap up pool play Monday against the Dutch at Olympic Stadium. New Zealand faces China that same day in Winnipeg.

The Kiwis thought they deserved more than a point.

"When the final whistle went, we were really disappointed that we didn't come away with the three points," said coach Tony Readings, whose team lost 1-0 to the Dutch in its opener. "Again we felt we did enough."

Canada is ranked eighth in the world compared to No. 17 for New Zealand.

Thursday's game had plenty of drama with a weather delay, Canadian goal called back and both sides hitting the crossbar, with the woodwork denying a New Zealand penalty kick. …

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