Crowd has definitely swelled to several thousand now. Lots of flags. Canada in red. Haiti in generic blue adidas tops.
First half notes – posted on the fly
- Only takes a minute of play to see this will be a faster, more physical game and Haiti did not come here to roll over. Pressuring Canada all over the field and a very high line that they really are going to have to watch.
- Poor organization from Haiti on a wide free kick that Canada exploited well.
- Canada have played three balls behind the high line already. One too heavy and two offside. This is the half of living dangerously for Haiti.
- And they are caught. Through ball to Sinclair who times run well and squares to Christina Julien for the tap in. 1-0.
- Haiti starting to compose themselves again.
- Voyageurs with a “Who are you! Who are you!” that’s likely meant to be a funny response to the lack of any Haitian crest on their jerseys. That could well be perceived as pretty tasteless given that Haiti was already the poorest nation in the western hemisphere before the earthquake flattened Port Au Prince and killed 200 000. Let’s just be glad they’re here.
- Haiti not sitting back and not afraid to attack Canadian defenders 1v1 but not offering much in terms of support and passing in attack.
- Haitian keeper didn’t really look the part early on but has pulled off two stunning saves so far. Agile and brave.
- Sinclair notches the tension abating second goal. Haiti really have to abandon this suicidal high line now that Canada, especially Sinclair, has sussed it out and delayed runs in behind. She will eat this up all night. Keeper reverted to early form stabbing a foot at the ball rather than diving down to get a hand on it.
- Haitian keeper has shown she has good hands on high shots. Canada should be ripping everything hard and low. She does not like these.
- Would like to see Haiti get #19, wide on the right, into the game more. Very good 1v1 but hasn’t had the ball much. Could see her doing well and Haiti strikers look half decent if she can get service to them. (And just as I post that she gets the ball in space with a clear run at a defender and wastes the ball with a 35 yard shot that was almost 35 yards wide)
- Clincial third from Sinclair against a fading Haiti. Tancredi smartly stepped over a ball cut back from the line. Julien returned Sinclair’s earlier favour and squared for her to side foot past the keeper from 14 yards. Increasingly little resistance from Haiti now but they have adopted a more sensible line to defend from.
- Tancredi misses a sitter; free header into an empty net from six yards out and the half ends 3-0 Canada. Sesselman looked to pick up a serious injury but is now walking to the changing room. That girl has some serious hamstring muscles.
- I’d have to go with Kelly Parker and Christine Sinclair as the two best players on the field in the first half.
Second half notes – on the fly
- Sesselmann out and Chelsea Stewart in at the start of the second half.
- I know it’s against Haiti but this is some of the best build up play I’ve seen the women’s team play.
- Haitian defenders don’t mind a solid challenge; and if they get the ball it’s just a bonus!
- Schmidt out; Kyle in. Crowd favourite (Kyle) but I’ve never really seen performances that merit her inclusion in the starting lineup.
- And I think we just saw the goal of the night. Great invention from Tancredi to bloop one over her her head into Sinclair’s path. Coolly brought down and slotted for the captain’s hat trick.
- Haitian back four lost at sea now. This could end up a rout if they don’t get some discipline back into their defending.
- Chelsea Buckland enters the game for Tancredi just in time to see a Haitian defender lay a devastating body slam…on her own goalie. [Actually the replay suggests the defender took the worst of it but it’s the keeper that’s down]
- Keeper sub for Haiti. This could be interesting.
- Desiree Scott very influential in the second. Breaking up Haiti in midfield and quickly starting attacks. This strong holding mid type play will be very important against Costa Rica’s gifted midfielders.
- Haiti flagging noticeably under constant Canadian pressure. Can do little but lump in as far up the field as possible when they do get it and then Canadian attack again with good ball movement. Herdman on the sidelines is really on them to to keep the ball. Has them very focused.
- Announced crowd: 7627. Seems….high.
- Dubious penalty for Canada. Great penetration in the box but it looked like Parker slipped and was not touched by the defender. Sinclair slots for her fourth of the night. Officiating has been very average in this game. Better in the first game.
- Kelly Parker gets a well deserved goal on her second whack at the ball after Chelsea Buckland did well to hold up a difficult ball at the top of the box to set up the critical pass to Parker.
Game over. I’ll maybe do some final thoughts later. Late for a pint with friends…