2015 WWC – Group A: Canada vs China PR Match Report

9 Jun

tumblr_npjuzoxaHQ1rbawlco4_1280Welcome to the 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match! Or, as I’ve come to think of it, an excellent exhibition in the cruelties and graces to be wrought by uncooperative woodwork. This game had all the passion, noise, nerves, drinks, excitement, and bad fan clothing choices expected. People were regaled head-to-toe in red and white and not just because of the inevitable sunburn. The goal: to turn Commonwealth Stadium into a sea of red. Achieved! Of course, it helped that red is the primary colour for both China PR and Canada. Well played, organizers. Well played.

The game also had heat, lots and lots of heat. In the stands, we had clear skies and 26+ degrees Celsius to contend with. I was considerate of my fellow fans and wore extra deodorant; wish some of them had done the same. On the pitch, the players had the 26+ temperature bearing down on them plus the additional heat bubbling up from the artificial turf. Like, oh, about 20 degrees Celsius more.

Science lesson! (Plastic + Rubber) * Sun = holy schweaty balls, hot-as-hades heat. Forget about cooking an egg on the sidewalk. Bring on the Butterball!

Canada: Sinclair, 90’+2 (P)
China PR: n/a


Canada: Buchanan, Tancredi (77′, Leon), Filigno (61′, Kyle), Schmidt, Lawrence, Sesselman, Sinclair, Chapman, McLeod, Scott (71′, Fleming), Belanger

China PR: Zhao, Sh, Wang F, Li Y (62′, Zhang), Li DN, Tan, Wang LS (42′, Han), Ren, Wu, Gu (87′, Ma), Liu

FIFA Player of the Match: Sophie Schmidt, CAN

Hb&Hb Headband of the Match: Ying Li, CHN

The perfect headband for football, tennis, and perfecting one’s Bruce Lee imitation. Just do it!

Attendance: 53,058, a new Women’s World Cup record!
Location: Commonwealth Stadium
Referee: Kateryna Monzul, UKR

Where’s hopechaser?



Hey! Looks who’s here! Not!

Game Highlights

I mentioned the woodwork in the recap intro. Allow me to submit the following incidents in support of my comment.

Incident #1
23′ China PR receives a free-kick. This happened.

Such a sweeeeet free-kick. Wang deserved to have it go in. Damn woodwork, but thanks goal line technology!

Incident #2
27′. Trailing the play, Belanger pounces on the ball and fires a quick shot. This happened.

It looks like the goalie got a hand to it. She didn’t. Trust me.

Now, let’s play “Penalty or No Penalty?” Always a fun party game for a World Cup.

90’+2. Zhao and Leon tussle inside the box.

I said maybe. Referee said yes, and so the first penalty of the tournament was on record. The resulting penalty shot went a little something like this:

Game Photos





Per John Herdman, Canada coach

It was a good start to the tournament for Canada. We had double the amount of possession they did and outshot them by double. The girls have now had that experience of coming out and playing in front of 50,000 people, and that is not easy. Some of the players that came on really stood up. We gave the crowd something to cheer about [at the end], which was really cool.

Per Wei Hao, China PR coach

Overall I was very happy about our team performance and I believe our team will be even better in the next match. It is a pity to lose in this way [with a late goal] but within a couple of days we can successfully adjust our mindset, I have no doubt about that.


Random and Final Thoughts

I want it on the record the goal came when someone finally brought out the cowbell. Seriously, it took until the 90th minute for its appearance. And that someone was a Dutch fan right behind us. Let’s just say he got a huge thumbs up and thanks when the game was over. I probably should have bought him a beer but I’m stingy like that.

Overall, I was not impressed by Canada’s performance. While I appreciate wanting to play as a complete unit, too often chances were squandered because the player with the ball was looking around thinking about what to do next rather than just doing. Or, in the case of Chapman, giving the ball away cheaply and causing way too much stress for the goalkeeper. She’s damn lucky Buchanan was solid enough to sweep up after her.

On the other side, China stuck well to their game plan. They swarmed Sinclair whenever she got close to the ball. By the end of the game, it looked like mini games of piggy-in-the-middle all over the place. Sinclair would get the ball and immediately two China players were on top of her. China have some tactical issues to iron out like Canada; I’m curious how well they’ll deal with them when facing Netherlands on Thursday.

Oh, and for anyone wondering–and I know all of you are–my seats are located at the south-east end of the stadium (opposite the jumbotron) in the lower bowl. They are almost parallel with the goal which means we had a perfect view of China’s free-kick robbery and of Sinclair’s penalty shot. I know!

– hopechaser

One Response to “2015 WWC – Group A: Canada vs China PR Match Report”

  1. jellyace June 9, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    That cowbell! I was represented! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

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