Women's World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 30, 2011
(All times Eastern)
France (1-0-0) vs. Canada (0-1-0), Noon
Bochum, Germany (Sports Network) - Canada opened the Women's World Cup with a
loss to host and two-time defending champion Germany, but German coach Silvia
Neid said after the game, "I think most would agree we beat a very good team."
Now, Canada has to prove it against France or its World Cup could be over long
Germany and France sit atop Group A with three points apiece after wins on the
first day of the tournament Sunday, but Canada can position itself for a berth
in the knockout round with a win over France on Thursday at Ruhrstadion.
Although there are no sure things at the World Cup, Canada wraps up group play
against Nigeria - the weakest team of the group - and France plays Germany.
After Canada's strong performance against Germany, a 2-1 defeat, the CONCACAF
champions appear to be the second-best team in the group.
Manager Carolina Morace believed Canada was a "little bit fearful at the start
(against Germany) but my team put in a good performance."
Christine Sinclair's goal in the 82nd minute - the 117th of her international
career - left Germany on its heels for the final minutes, and Canada actually
had more possession overall, even if it was just 51 percent to 49.
"I think it was a good game, certainly one the fans will have enjoyed," Morace
said. "We had more possession than the Germans - and to do that in Germany, in
front of this magnificent crowd (of 73,680) and against the best team in the
world, is very good indeed."
France will be confident after its 1-0 win over Nigeria, but the final result
will leave some doubt about whether Bruno Bini's club is ready for the matches
remaining in group play.
Marie-Laure Delie scored the lone goal in the 56th minute, but the French will
pay if they fail to convert chances against Canada.
"Although it was only 1-0, I think this win was very important, as the opening
matches in competitions always are," France midfielder Louisa Necib said.
"It'll give us maximum confidence for what lies ahead."
06/30 00:58:18 ET