China snatch win as Ger­many, Canada held in Women’s World Cup

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY EMMELINE MOORE

Wang Lisi’s late win­ner got China’s Women’s World Cup cam­paign back on track Tues­day as Ger­many were held 1-1 by Nor­way and Canada played a goal­less draw against New Zealand.

China’s Group A tie in Ed­mon­ton’s Com­mon­wealth Sta­dium looked to be head­ing for frus­tra­tion be­fore Wang broke through to roll the ball past Sari Van Vee­nen­daal in the Dutch goal one minute into ex­tra time.

It gave the “Steel Roses” a vi­tal three points af­ter los­ing their open­ing match to Canada, who had to set­tle for a goal­less draw against New Zealand.

Canada re­main top of Group A with four points from two games, ahead of China and the Nether­lands, who have three. New Zealand are bot­tom of the group with one point.

“I think they did an ex­cel­lent job to­day. We could have scored more and been more ef­fi­cient,” said China coach Hao Wei.

“In the be­gin­ning I said Group A was very even, all teams are sim­i­lar in their strengths so I wish we could have scored more,” added the Chi- nese coach.

In Group B ties over in Ottawa, a sec­ond half Maren Mjelde equal­izer grabbed a 1-1 draw for Nor­way against top ranked Ger­many in a clash of for­mer cham­pi­ons.

Anja Mit­tag had put 2003 and 2007 cham­pi­ons Ger­many ahead af­ter just six min­utes with her fourth goal fol­low­ing her hat-trick in their open­ing 10-0 whip­ping of Ivory Coast.

But mid­fielder Mjelde equal­ized for 1995 win­ners Nor­way with a stunning free kick past for­mer world player of the year Na­dine Angerer in the Ger­many goal af­ter 61 min­utes.

Thai­land Make His­tory

The Ger­mans next play Thai­land who came from a goal down to keep their hopes of ad­vanc­ing alive with a 3-2 win over fel­low new­com­ers Ivory Coast.

“We are very lucky, be­cause even though we had less at­tack­ing chances, we got our first victory in our coun­try’s his­tory,” said Thai­land coach Nuen­gru­tai Srathong­vian.

“We are hon­ored to be play­ing the best team in the world Ger- many in our next match and will do our ab­so­lute best to win.”

Ivo­rian striker Ange Ngues­san had given the African side the lead af­ter four min­utes but Thai­land hit back with three unan­swered goals.

A dou­ble from Orathai Sri­ma­nee af­ter 26 and 45+3 min­utes, and a Thanatta Cha­wong ef­fort on 75 saw the Asian side bounce back from a 4-0 loss to Nor­way in their opener.

Josee Nahi got one back for the Ivory Coast two min­utes from time, but it was too lit­tle for the African side with just one game re­main­ing.

“It’s a sad night for us and for the peo­ple of Ivory Coast,” said Clemen­tine Toure of the the low­est ranked side in the tour­na­ment at 67.

Ger­many coach Sil­via Neid ad­mit­ted her side had nearly paid heav­ily for let­ting their guard down af­ter dom­i­nat­ing early against the 11th-ranked Scan­di­na­vians.

“We just didn’t play as well in the sec­ond half — and then Nor­way gained hope,” said Neid.

The re­sult leaves Ger­many and Nor­way top­ping Group B with four points. Thai­land are third with three points with Ivory Coast bot­tom with none.

“The end re­sult was fair, but we were lucky — (Ger­many) could have killed this game in the first half,” said Nor­way coach Even Pellerud.

In the fi­nal round of group games on Mon­day, Ger­many play Thai­land in Win­nipeg and Nor­way take on the Ivory Coast in Monc­ton.

Cham­pi­ons Ja­pan and the United States will play their sec­ond round matches on Fri­day.

Ja­pan come up against Cameroon in Group C in Van­cou­ver, with group ri­vals Switzer­land up against Ecuador.

The United States play Swe­den in Group D in Win­nipeg, with Australia up against African cham­pi­ons Nige­ria.

AP

China’s Wang Lisi #21 cel­e­brates her goal against the Nether­lands with team­mate Lou Ji­ahui dur­ing sec­ond-half FIFA Women’s World Cup soc­cer game ac­tion in Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta on Thurs­day, June 11.

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