By theguardian |

Canada book last-16 place as Nichelle Prince caps win over New Zealand

Canada booked their place in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 win over New Zealand at the Stade des Alpes. The captain, Christine Sinclair, had hit the crossbar during the first half before Jessie Fleming broke the deadlock soon after the restart in Grenoble.

Nichelle Prince capped an impressive individual display when she knocked in a second late on from close range after Sinclair’s header came back off the post.

Canada 2-0 New Zealand: Women's World Cup 2019 – as it happened

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Canada, hosts four years ago, opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over Cameroon in Montpellier and went close to taking the lead in the 18th minute against New Zealand, who were temporarily reduced to 10 players after CJ Bott had to leave the field with a hand injury. From a corner Sinclair’s header came back off the crossbar, with the follow-up from Prince headed clear by Abby Erceg on the line.

New Zealand had lost their opening match to an injury-time goal against the Netherlands and struggled to create many clear openings.

When they did get an opportunity after a cross was pushed out by Canada’s goalkeeper, Stephanie Labbé, and dropped for Olivia Chance, the former Everton defender struck her effort well wide.

Canada finally broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. Prince broke down the left and into the penalty area, before cutting the ball back for Fleming to slot past Erin Nayler.

With 73 minutes gone Nayler produced a superb reflex save to push Prince’s glanced header up over the bar when it looked destined for the top right corner.

Nayler, though, could do nothing to prevent Canada’s second goal with 11 minutes left. Sinclair got up at the far post and her downward header bounced back off the woodwork and Prince was alert to score from the rebound.

Canada progress to the knockout stages along with the Netherlands, who beat Cameroon in Valenciennes, and will tackle the Dutch for top spot of Group E on Thursday.

Topics

Women's World Cup 2019 The Observer

Canada women's football team New Zealand women's football team Women's World Cup Women's football US sports match reports

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