First Olympic win for Shelina, despair for Ria
Sat 24 July 2021, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Women captain Shelina Zadorsky and her home country, Canada, all but guaranteed their passage through to the Olympic quarter-finals with a crucial 2-1 win over Chile in Tokyo on Saturday.
After the Canadians were held to a 1-1 draw by Japan in their Olympic opener on Wednesday, Bev Priestman’s side needed a victory against Group E’s bottom-placed team to strengthen their hold on the second qualifying place and a Janine Beckie brace sealed the points.
Chile started strongly, winning a corner inside the first minute, but the Canadians quickly regained control and Kadeisha Buchanan had the ball in the back of the net in the seventh minute, only for the goal to be ruled out for handball.
The referee pointed to the spot 10 minutes later when Christine Sinclair was brought down in the box, only for Janine Beckie to step up and see her effort crash back off the post.
Beckie redeemed herself in the 38th minute - when Chilean goalkeeper Endler parried a Nichelle Prince cross, the forward reacted quickest to give the Canadians a 1-0 advantage before the break.
Canada continued to gain momentum after half-time and it was Beckie who doubled her tally in the 47th minute, latching onto a through ball from Ashley Lawrence and coolly slotting home.
Chile were handed a lifeline in the 57th minute when Shelina conceded a penalty which was converted by Karen Araya.
Next up for Canada is a match against group leaders, Great Britain, on Tuesday (12pm UK time).
It was despair for record appearance-maker Ria Percival and New Zealand at the Saitama Stadium as they fell to a 6-1 defeat to a ruthless United States.
Rose Lavelle opened the scoring in the ninth minute before Lindsay Horan added a second with a deft header to give the defending Olympic champions a commanding 2-0 lead at the break.
The deficit could have been worse for the Football Ferns, but the United States had four goals disallowed for offside.
The Americans, who lost 3-0 to Sweden in their opening game, ending a 44-game winning streak, continued to assert their dominance after the interval.
An own goal by Abby Erceg extended the lead to 3-0 in the 64th minute before Betsy Hassett pulled one back for New Zealand eight minutes later.
The US pulled away in the final 10 minutes; Christen Press scored in the 80th minute before former Spurs Women forward, Alex Morgan, grabbed their fifth of the game. Tom Sermanni’s team conceded another unfortunate own goal in the closing stages.
The defeat means the Football Ferns face a must-win clash against Sweden on Tuesday to give themselves a chance to qualify for the knockout stages.