2015 WWC – Group A: China PR vs New Zealand Match Recap

21 Jun

Finally, a Group A game with goals! Not so finally, a penalty call which wasn’t a penalty! This game had it all. Drama. Nerves. Sweaty headbands. An unwelcomed guest. A sending off. Violently chewed gum. Unfortunately, what it didn’t have was that elusive first WWC win for the Football Ferns.

From my perspective, the Ferns were a bit hard done by this tournament. First, they were not awarded a clear penalty in the game vs Netherlands. Second, they gave up a penalty in this game because of an egregious call by the referee. A ball off the chest is not a handball. I repeat. A ball off the chest is not a handball. I don’t believe the horrible officiating it is an excuse for Readings refusing to shake hands with the Wei Hao afterward, but I do get his mindset at the time.

China PR: Wang Lisi, 41′ (P); Wang Shanshan, 60′
New Zealand: Stott, 28′; Wilkinson, 64′

Lineups

China PR: Wang Sh, Zhao, Wang F, Li DN, Liu, Han (84′, Lou), Wang LS (90′, Li Y), Wu, Ren, Tang (72′, Wang Shuang), Tan

New Zealand: Hearn, Erceg, Nayler, Wilkinson, Stott, Longo, Duncan, Percival, Riley, Gregorius (46′, White; 89′, Yallop), Hassett (46′, Bowen)

LYG Player of the Match: Annalie Longo, NZL

Hb&Hb Headband of the Match: Hannak Wilkinson, NZL

Location: Winnipeg Stadium
Attendance: 26,191
Referee: Katalin Kulcsar, HUN

Pre-Game

Game Highlights

New Zealand started the goal rush at the 28th minute mark thanks to defender Stott latching on to the ball after a scramble following Percival’s corner kick..


In the 34th minute, China struck a lovely free-kick which Nayler tipped over the bar. Not sure how much she really saw of it because of the sun.

Hey, it’s time for “Penalty or No Penalty?” once again! So this happened in the 34th minute:

I and everyone else said, “hell no!” Referee unhesitatingly pointed to the spot. Disbelief all around.

Wang Lisi stepped up and boom! Game tied.

Start of the second half and Erceg had a collision of sorts with China goalkeeper Wang Fei. Did Wang Fei care? Nope. Nice to see her time in Germany is paying off in a multitude of ways.

In 53′, Erceg went down again after awkwardly jarring her ankle in a way it doesn’t want to be jarred.

The captain was able to continue, but, damn.

So, if the referee gifted China their first goal then New Zealand gifted them their second. Nayler, slow off the line, allowed this from Wang Shanshan.

This error fired up the Ferns, who pushed forward and grabbed an equalizer just four minutes later.


Well done Hannah!

The 81′ rolled around and a pitch invader broke into the picture from the New Zealand end of the pitch. Chase ensued. Crowd loved it. I hated it.

Dumb-ass. Though, have to say, it is kinda nice to know these dumb-asses aren’t restricted to interrupting just the men’s games. Equality!

China with another free kick in the 84th minute. Looked like it was going in when Wang Shanshan redirected with her thigh but Nayler to the rescue.

(Gandalf voice)You…shall not…pass!(/Gandalf voice)

Into extra time and the Chinese coach decided he needed to get in on the fun, aka find a way to waste time for his team. So he did this.


Dude, putting your hands up like that absolves nothing. Have to like the imagery though of someone wearing the FIFA bib in the foreground approaching someone with their hands in the air. Was this the role-playing segment of the game?

A yellow card and off to the stands for Hao. This is what he thought of the incident:

And time. This 96′ collision pretty much summed up the game

Or, maybe this snub does. Flip of the coin.

Game Photos

Post-Game

Quotes

Chang Weiwei, China PR assistant coach

During the half-time break, I told the team to make faster passes and to find loopholes in their backline. That’s why we were able to have the draw. We have been training our players to be faster on the field. I believe our players have improved greatly.

Tony Readings, New Zealand coach

We became more and more attacking as the game went on, but if you can’t score more goals than your opposition then you’re not going to get the points you need. In terms of overall performance I couldn’t be any prouder of the players today. They left everything out there. We’re going to come back really strong next year for the Olympics.

Final and Random Thoughts

This was such an entertaining game; I really didn’t know who was going to take it. In the end, neither did but not for the lack of trying. When New Zealand scored the opening goal, I was so ecstatic. Such an amazingly skilled team. They make baby steps at every tournament–here they recorded two draws, up from one draw in 2011. In four years, hopefully that first (and more wins) will be there for them.

As for China, I’m getting rather tired of their two-dimensional approach. Let’s throw 7 people back on any attack and all 10 in the final 15 minutes. Then let’s find ways to waste time. This may be where they are the most creative. The team is talented, especially Wang Fei and Wang Lisi. No denying it. I just don’t see how far that will get them when facing a team more more dominant in the midfield. They struggled there vs Canada; they’ll struggle there vs a similar team.

– hopechaser

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