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Women’s World Cup: Group A round-up

France 1-0 Nigeria

Nigeria elected to sit back for the first 20 minutes, respecting the French attack. France still created a number of opportunities, but could not get a final touch in the box to produce the goal.

Nigeria should have been up 1–0 when Oparanozie’s good run on goal down the right side ended with a shot rolling wide.

France started to dominate the offensive end in the 2nd half. Halftime substitute Le Sommer had a number of crosses in from the right side, one of which resulted in the game winner in the 56th minute. Delie scored on the Le Sommer cross after the French worked the ball up through the middle then wide right.

Nigeria did generate some chances, as the French defense looked shaky on the transition. Nigerian forwards were able to make runs behind and through the defenders without being picked up. French goalkeeper Sapowicz also looked uncomfortable coming out for the ball.

This win was a good start for the French. They picked up 3 points, but need to improve defensively when they face the stronger Germans and Canadians. Nigeria needs to do a better job of using their speed to their advantage. They should bring more high pressure defensively to force their opponents into mistakes, giving them more chances to run on the counter attack.

Germany 2–1 Canada

One of Canada’s best chances came in the 6th minute. It would have been an incredibly different game if Canadian taliswoman Christine Sinclair hit the target; instead she lifted over the crossbar and Germany was allowed to dictated play for the remainder of the game.

Germany scored first in the 10th when Garefrekes outjumped the Canadian defender to head in from the back post. She easily put it home after Canadian goalkeeper McLeod got caught out of position trying to come out to claim the ball in.

Canada had the majority of possession in the first half, but couldn’t keep the ball in the offensive third. Germany’s second goal came just before the half on a breakaway after Canadian defender Nault kept Okoyino Da Mbabi onsides. The German no. 13 finished past a stranded McLeod.

Germany produced a number of chances in the second half, but could not put another away. Even the normally reliable Garefrekes coul dnot finish from 2 yards out. The Germans certainly looked the stronger team, and Canada struggled to string more than two passes together, too often pushed off the ball by the larger Germans.

The Canadian captain Sinclair gave Canada hope in the 82nd. Shecurled a beautiful free kick over the wall and into the upper right 90. Canada couldn’t get a 2nd goal to tie the game, but after becoming the first team to score on Germany since World Cup 2003, they have some momentum as they look toward their second group stage game.

Germany looked strong, but they showed they may be beatable this time around. They should have scored at least one more to put the Canadians away, and they’ll need to do that against stronger competition in the later rounds. Their defense looked vulnerable at times, which could be a factor against an attacking team like the United States.

Next Group A match-ups

June 30, 2011

Canada v France 12:00pm

This will be a tight one. Both teams are very creative offensively, but the Canadians looked stronger on defense in their first game. Sinclair was one of few Canadian players able to hold off the German pressure, and look for her to create the most chances. Le Sommer and Necib will look to create chances for France down the wings.

Frankie picks Canada, 2–1.

Germany v Nigeria 2:45pm

The Germans will win this one easily. Nigeria doesn’t have the endurance to run the whole game. They will take a few runs at the German defense, but look to the stronger Germans to take control and the points.

Frankie picks Germany, 3–1.


  1. Was good to see how full the stadiums were and that the games were pretty even, especially the Nigerian one since Nigeria barely got a team to the WC; they were only able to after their President intervened.

  2. The French player Necib was brilliant, and that Canadian free kick was fantastic. The entire stadium went silent, and it had been impressively loud before.

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