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Match report England v Canada Football April 2013

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Our roving reporter was at the game and reports on the game as well as the post match press conference.

England 1-0 Canada

Match Reporter: Adam Barlow




On Sunday at the New York stadium in Rotherham, England Ladies beat their counterparts from Canada 1-0 for the second time in a month. The win was achieved in dramatic style with a last minute winner from Ellen White. It was an eventful end to a largely uneventful match with both sides cancelling each other out for much of the afternoon.


This was the second game of Canada’s European tour. The first was a 1-1 draw with France on Thursday night in Nice. With that in mind Head Coach John Herdman made three changes bringing in Diana Matheson, Kylla Sjoman, and Kaylyn Kyle for Lauren Sesselman, Adriana Leon, and Jonelle Fligno.


England

Canada

1 Karen Bardsley

2 Alex Scott

3 Stephanie Houghton

4 Anite Asante

5 Sophie Bradley

6 Casey Stoney (c)

7 Eniola Aluko

8 Jill Scott

9 Ellen White

10 Fara Williams

11 Rachel Yankey


Subs


12 Dunia Susi

13 Rachel Brown

14 Laura Bassett

15 Jess Clarke

16 Jordan Nobbs

18 Toni Duggan

19 Gemma Bonner

20 Rachel Williams

21 Siobhan Chamberlain

22 Jade Moore

23 Kerys Harrop

1 Erin McLeod

3 Tiffany Cameron

4 Camelina Moscato

6 Kaylyn Kyle

7 Rhian Wilkinson

8 Diana Matheson

11 Desiree Scott

12 Christine Sinclair (c)

13 Sophie Schmidt

14 Kadeisha Buchanan

22 Kylla Sjoman


Subs


2 Emily Zurrer

5 Robyn Gayle

9 Ashley Lawerence

10 Lauren Sesselman

15 Adriana Leon

16 Jonelle Filigno

17 Jodi-Ann Robinson

19 Chelsea Stewart

33 Karina LeBlanc




Before the game there was a presentation to Canada’s Diana Matheson who today received her 150th international cap. It was her goal that sealed the bronze medal for Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games. England were also celebrating one of its players reaching a milestone as this game marked Rachel Yankey’s 125th international appearance thus drawing level with England’s legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton. As you would expect both players received a fantastic ovation from the crowd.


After the pre match formalities were completed Canada got the game under way kicking from right to left but it was England who launched the first attack of the game; gaining a corner in the second minute, which was taken by Rachel Yankey and headed wide by Steph Houghton. A minute later Canada had their first attack when Schmidt set up Matheson but Asante got back to make the challenge for England. In the early exchanges both sides looked to keep the ball on the deck and try to feel their way into the game. England had packed the midfield and were looking to get the ball wide as often as possible and get plenty of crosses into the box. It was from one of these crosses that White tried an ambitious overhead kick in the 7th minute but it went harmlessly wide.


Moments later, Canada were almost in when Sophie Bradley made a rare error but Bardsley saved Schmidt’s tame effort. On 14 minutes the visitors gained their first corner of the game, but it was a poor one that failed to test the English defence. Shorty after England won another corner which was an inswinger from Yankey. This was headed goal-wards by Houghton, but her tame header was easily collected by McLeod in the Canada goal. Canada then enjoyed a decent spell with the ball and forced a couple of half chances when Schmidt first sent a free kick wide of the goal, then the same player volleyed over after being set up by Wilkinson. The game was starting to go a little flat and most of the play was getting bogged down in midfield. A few minutes before halftime however, Canada’s Christine Sinclair (Or Sincey to her teammates) was convinced that the ball had struck an England players hand in the box, but the referee dismissed her appeals. The same player then almost created a half chance as she charged down a Casey Stoney clearance, but Stoney got back to recover. It was the last meaningful action of the first half and with no time added on, the players trudged off to regroup.


Although both sides had played some pretty football at times in the first half, neither side had really forced the opposition goal keeper into a meaningful save. These two sides sit joint 7th in the FIFA rankings,, and on this showing that’s about right as there was very little to choose between the sides. England, for most of the half, tried to spread the play wide while Canada were more direct and looked to play off Sinclair. I got the feeling that it was either going to take a moment of brilliance or a mistake to win this match.


Neither side made any changes for the second half so it was all ‘as you were’. Canada came out the better of the two sides and almost took the lead when Karen Bardsley dropped a cross, but thankfully from England’s point of view, Houghton was there to hack the ball clear. Bardsley did however pull off a smart save in the 49th minute when Sinclair headed a Schmidt corner downwards and was flicked on by Cameron at the far post. After this little spell of Canadian pressure England regrouped and won a couple of corners; which resulted in Asante blasting the ball over the bar and out of the ground. On 59 minutes England made their first substitutes with Everton’s Rachel Brown replacing Bardsley in goal, and Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs coming on for Anita Asante. Nobbs was straight into the thick of the action when, with her first touch of the ball, she fired just over the bar. Canada hit back with an effort from Wilkinson before England missed the best chance of the game; Yankey played in a smart ball to Faye White who picked out Fara Williams, who was unmarked, but her close range effort was well saved. White was first to react to the rebound, but she was unable to get the ball on target.


On 69 minutes England made their third change of the game when Toni Duggen replaced Eniola Aluko. Canada also made their first change at the same time with Emily Zurrer coming on for Rhian Wilkinson, this was shortly followed by Adriana Leon replacing Sophie Schmidt who had been Canada’s most dangerous player. Although both sides had made changes, England looked like their fresh legs had given them more impetus, while Canada looked a bit disjointed; Nobbs sent a shot over the bar when it looked like she had more time than she realised, and this was followed moments later by Duggen whose effort only just went over the bar and ended up on the roof of the netting. Sensing that the game was getting away from them, Canada Coach Hardman made another change; bringing on Jodi-Ann Robinson for Tiffany Cameron. On 82 minutes England made their final change; bringing on Jess Clarke for Rachel Yankey. Canada were starting to look a tired side but on 86 minutes they created a great chance; Diana Matheson sprinted down the right and played in a fantastic ball to Sinclair who had made a clever run that left her bearing down on goal with only Sophie Bradley to beat, but the young England defender got a vital block in. It looked as if the game was heading towards stalemate when it was announced that 4 minutes extra time was to be added. England poured forward. Fara Williams sent in a cross from the England left and it was met by Ellen White whose diving header found the back of the net. England did have time to force another corner but were unable to add to their score.



Full Time: England 1-0 Canada ATT 4875.


After the game Canadian coach John Hardman felt that it had been a poor game which “Lacked spark” However he stressed that games like this, with the World Cup two years away, gave them plenty of time to try different things out. He cited the substitutions that England made as key to freshening things up, and was impressed with both Casey Stoney and Toni Duggan when she came on for the home team.




England coach Hope Powell said that England “Probably edged it” and didn’t feel it was a “Particularly good game” But she was impressed with the way England upped their game in the second half. She felt that the back four looked “Particularly solid” and was impressed with the way that they coped with Canada and Sinclair upfront.

When asked about how England are shaping up she said that they were “On track” and was looking forward to a big test against Japan in June. Interestingly she added that the squad was “The best it’s ever been”.


Rachel Yankey was pleased that England were becoming “Hard to beat” But felt that there was still much more to come from England and that they can play a lot better than that. She also believed that the side “Had a lot more to show” she added that it was a” positive sign” that the side had come off the pitch disappointed that they hadn’t played as well as they could have done, despite the fact that they had held off a team containing some excellent talent.




So all in all it was a decent work out for England against a strong Canadian team. The Lionesses have only one more warm up game; a home match against the World Cup holders Japan at Burton Albion in June, before they head of the Sweden and Euro 2013. It’s starting to get exciting.