England eliminates host Canada in World Cup Q-final, 2-1
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 28, 2015 09:45 AM
(Getty Images via FIFA.com)
AP Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Jodie Taylor and Lucy Bronze scored in the shocking first 14 minutes, and England eliminated Canada from its home World Cup with a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals Saturday.
The Lionesses overcame a frenzied Canadian crowd at BC Place and a second-half goalkeeper change to secure their nation's first trip to the semifinals.
England crushed the hopes of a host nation hoping to celebrate Canada's first World Cup title on this same field next month.
Instead, England will face defending champion Japan in the semifinals in Edmonton, Alberta, on Wednesday — which also happens to be Canada Day.
Christine Sinclair scored in the 42nd minute for Canada, which had given up just one goal in the entire World Cup before giving up two more just three minutes apart.
After Taylor scored the opener on a horrible turnover by Lauren Sesselmann, Bronze added an impressive long header to build a lead that England never relinquished.
Although Sinclair got one back before halftime, Canada struggled to generate many good chances in the waning minutes of the scoreless second half. The drought slowly crushed the crowd of 54,027, most wearing red and supporting their plucky, defense-minded team.
Siobhan Chamberlain replaced England goalie Karen Bardsley early in the second half when Bardsley complained about a problem with her right eye. Chamberlain is on her third World Cup team, but got about 30 seconds to warm up for her first appearance.
England's surge into the quarterfinals has raised attention to the perpetually overlooked Lionesses, and the strong backing of Prince William further increased the spotlight. Now they're two wins away from their first World Cup — something their male counterparts haven't won since 1966.
The sellout crowd banged drums and sang as it welcomed Canada back to Vancouver, where it beat Switzerland 1-0 last weekend to reach its first quarterfinal since 2003.
Sinclair got the crowd on its feet in the eighth minute with a tremendous rush down the sideline, nutmegging two players before making a tremendous sweeping pass that left Melissa Tancredi one-on-one with the goalie — but Canada's oldest starter missed the net badly.
And in the 11th minute, Taylor pounced when the ball got away from a falling Sesselman, dodged another defender and tucked a shot past Erin McLeod for her first goal of the tournament.
With the crowd still in disbelief, Bronze doubled the Lionesses' lead in the 14th minute by heading Fara Williams' long pass off the crossbar and in for her second goal of the World Cup. England's bench players leaped onto the field in elation, joined by the small English contingent in the vast crowd.
Canada might have been shocked, but Sinclair wasn't shaken.
The British Columbia player in her fourth World Cup had scored just once in the first four games, and that on a penalty. When Bardsley, a Cal State Fullerton product, lost the ball on a save in the 42nd minute, Sinclair tucked it home for her 155th international goal, and BC Place roared to life again.
England controlled long stretches of play after Chamberlain came on, but Canada eventually pushed.
Sophie Schmidt had perhaps Canada's best late chance in the 83rd minute, but put a low pass high over England's net. Sinclair put a header well wide off a corner kick in the 90th minute, and England ran out the clock on a dramatic victory.