2015 Women’s World Cup – Canada vs Holland – Hosts Waste Chances Early, Get Pegged Back Late

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – The hosts are in pole position to advance to the knockout stages as group winners, but they haven’t played well at all up to this point and will be looking to close out group play in style. Opponents Holland looked decent in a win over New Zealand before getting smacked by China in every department but the scoreline. They really need a result here, because three points might not get the job done when all is said and done.

3’ – Hairy moment early on for Canada, as they let a long Spitse free kick bounce near the six, but it goes behind to the relief of the partisan crowd.

6’ – Van de Donk plays a suicidal backpass towards her backline that is instead intercepted by Sinclair. The defenders swarm her but can’t clear, with the ball running to Lawrence. Her shot is blocked into the air, with Schmidt heading the ball onto the bar and over.

7’ – Lawrence is up for it. Chapman finds her in the middle of a zone, and she gets all the way to the endline, with her cross being blocked out for a corner. The delivery’s not much, and Holland get it away.

10’ – GOAL – Canada (Lawrence) – The stadium erupts. Throw-in to a posted up Sinclair is passed back to Schmidt, who hits a low, diagonal ball towards the six. Van der Gragt with a clumsy attempted clear keeps it away from Leon but knocks it right into the path of Ashley Lawrence, who beats Spitse to the ball and lashes home far post. Nice goal, not so nice defending.

11’ – Canada come close to doubling their lead, as Holland are all over the shop early. They’ve won the ball back before the replays for the last goal have finished, and Lawrence is unmarked to deliver a low shot fractionally wide of the post.

12’ – More problems, as the Dutch defense is getting shredded right now. Schmidt gets out to the wing and has all the space in the world to run into. Her cross to the far post finds Leon, who has a shot blocked by van Lunteren.

13’ – SUB – Bad to worse for Holland, as van Lunteren stays down injured. She’s forced off, with the Dutch bringing on Dominique Janssen as her replacement.

13’ – On the resulting corner after the sub, Sinclair heads wide. Holland battling to survive at the moment.

17’ – Better from Holland. Martens posts up Belanger on the far side and spins through the full-back, even as she gets grabby. Her cutback is well read though, with Buchanan hoofing clear.

19’ – Holland knows who they’re going after. They try a long diagonal switch towards Martens on the far side, with Belanger missing her header. The forward thighs it down and tries to half-volley a shot in, but it’s well off-target.

21’ – Another great tackle by Buchanan, as Martens tries to thread a ball into van de Donk’s stride, but the center-back hooks it away expertly.

27’ – Belanger has her heels clipped by Miedema as she tries to dart forward with the ball. The Canadian full-back pantomimes a yellow card, drawing the ire of the countless mob who have preached the WWC as the paragon of sporting purity.

30’ – How big might that be? Melis makes a pulsating run from deep and has enough space to cross towards the penalty spot. Buchanan gets her slide all wrong, and the ball falls to van de Donk, whose woeful first touch pushes it right into McLeod’s arms. Wasteful.

36’ – Van de Donk crunches Kyle with a tackle and sets off on the counter attack. She tries to play a ball diagonally into Melis’ stride, but it dies a bit on the turf, letting Chapman sweep away.

38’ – Schmidt lofts a free kick in from the far side, and Geurts does well to punch the delivery free.

42’ – A diagonal ball from wide is dinked on first-time by Sinclair, setting Schmidt 1v1 against Geurts with Van den Berg struggling to defend. The keeper bobbles off her line but falls on it.

45’ – Martens burns Belanger and tries to go endline, but Buchanan dives in with a sliding tackle that puts the ball over for a corner. McLeod punches the corner away.

HT – The European side will probably be counting their blessings that they’re just down by one goal considering how poorly they began the match. Will Canada rue those missed opportunities? They have looked a little stretched at the back, with some great last ditch tackling from Kadeisha Buchanan bailing them out on multiple occasions in that half.

49’ – Lawrence chips a ball forward to Sinclair, who cuts it awkwardly back to the penalty spot. Schmidt picks it up and passes back to the unmarked Lawrence at the top of the box, but her shot is right at the keeper and handled easily.

50’ – Van den Berg makes an awful pass out of defense that goes straight to Fleming, as the gap between defense and midfield for the Dutch is massive. That space lets Fleming run with the ball before launching a shot high from just inside the arc.

52’ – It’s all going down now. Van Dongen whips a beautiful cross to the far post which Melis knocks down towards an unmarked Miedema. She gets it all wrong though and sends it far over.

54’ – Almost an instant replay from a few minutes back, as Fleming gets the ball with time and space inside the arc but hesitates a bit and shoots wide.

56’ – The tide of offense continues to ebb and flow from each side, as Spitse fires from about thirty-five yards out, with her low shot taking a deflection on the way in, forcing McLeod to get down and cover her post.

56’ – At the other end, Schmidt drives in a beautiful diagonal ball to Leon. Her cutback towards Lawrence is cleared behind by Van der Gragt. Canada are lazy getting back on defense after it’s cleared though, allowing a 3v3 break. Martens plays wide to van de Donk, who tries some stepovers before firing wide.

61’ – SUB – Canada going aggressive with subs to try and finish this one off, bringing on Melissa Tancredi and Desiree Scott for Kaylyn Kyle and Jessie Fleming, with the latter having impressed in her hour of work.

64’ – The ball movement from Holland is painfully slow, to the point that as they rotate the ball from one side to the other on the edge of the box, Leon tracks back and slides it away.

67’ – Melis tries to turn on the jets to get by Chapman at the far edge of the box, but the full-back slides in and takes it away. Some great defending by Canada’s defenders throughout. The replay shows Chapman got a hell of a lot more of Melis than the ball though, so make your own call. van de Donk spikes her just a few seconds later at midfield.

72’ – Leon’s tripped up, giving Canada a free kick from thirty-ish yards out. Schmidt rifles it far over the goal. A waste.

72’ – YELLOW CARD – Canada (Belanger) – Belanger jumps late with an aerial shoulder charge on van Dongen and gets booked as she knocks the Dutch full-back to the turf.

72’ – SUB – Reijners, perhaps realizing that now might be a good time to actually get a goal, brings off van de Donk for Kirsten van de Ven. van de Donk is definitely the Girl With the Curl. When she’s good, she’s really good. When she’s not, she’s really not. She was not tonight. And I’m surprised a wormhole didn’t open up for Holland and New Zealand’s match given the repeated poor squad management from both coaches.

73’ – YELLOW CARD – Holland (van der Gragt) – The center-back shoulders Lawrence over while chasing after a long ball.

77’ – van de Ven sends Schmidt flying with a forearm to the back as the latter jumps for a ball. Painful.

80’ – A corner is punched by McLeod after Buchanan had given Holland a corner by deflecting a low shot over the line. Schmidt is just getting back on the pitch after getting treatment for the previous injury.

80’ – Leon aims a cross towards the six for Sinclair, but she’s double teamed and can’t get a head to it. Foul called on Sinclair anyway.

81’ – SUB – Schmidt’s return is a short one, as Canada bring on Rhian Wilkinson for the final ten minutes plus change.

84’ – That might’ve been it for Holland. Martens lofts a ball to the left flank, with Melis scorching the newly entered Wilkinson with her pace. She makes a hash of the shot though, firing right at McLeod’s feet, with the ball eventually cleared.

87’ – GOAL – Holland (van de Ven) – It’s an absolute defensive implosion for Canada. Holland break on a counter, with Moscato, somehow, clearing a ball at midfield off Martens, with the ball bouncing to Melis. The backline gets dragged apart, with Melis picking out an unmarked van de Ven, who lashes home. Great goal from Holland, but Canada really let themselves down after a great defensive game.

90’ + 2’ – Holland pinging it around seemingly uninterested in going for the three points. Foolhardy?

FT – Canada wins the group thanks to results elsewhere, but you can really see this one as points dropped. They were all over Holland in sections, especially early in the first half and should’ve been home and dry by the last ten minutes. The decision to bring Rhian Wilkinson in backfired spectacularly, as she was one of the defenders guilty of the calamitous equalizer given up late. Reijners gets the tactical win, I supposed having brought van de Ven on, but he also didn’t use a third sub, so I’m still wary about the Dutch boss.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by Chris Henderson.

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