British dreams shattered as Canadians reach last four

Great Britain 0 Canada 2

City of Coventry Stadium

British hopes of a football double in the weekend quarter-finals were extinguished in disappointing fashion last night when the women's team turned in their worst performance of the tournament and were knocked out by a side who had finished only third in their group. Having not conceded a goal in three group games, Britain let in two in the opening 25 minutes and were going uphill from then on.

The lack of a natural goalscorer in attack, which had previously been compensated for by goals from defenders, finally proved their undoing and a Canadian goalkeeper who had earlier looked suspect was not given sufficient work. One routine save in the opening quarter of an hour was the sum of it.

Canada, coached by the Geordie John Herdman, will now play a North American derby against the United States in the semi-final at Old Trafford on Monday, while Japan, having knocked out Brazil, play France at Wembley.

"We probably didn't get into our groove until they'd scored two goals," the Great British coach, Hope Powell, said. "Credit to Canada, who were very physical and muscled us out of the game."

If the first goal was hardly a surprise, given Canada's early domination, the second was a body blow, coming just as Britain were forcing their way back into the game. Both were well taken, the first in the 12th minute supremely so. Sophie Schmidt took a corner on the right that Jonelle Filigno met with a scorching half-volley from close to the penalty spot that Karen Bardsley had little to no hope of saving.

The goalkeeper might have done better with the second one, a free-kick awarded when Kim Little was adjudged to have fouled Desiree Scott, and Canada's captain Christine Sinclair, scorer of almost 150 international goals, curled her low free-kick past Bardsley's dive after the wall had split.

Urged on by an impressively vociferous crowd not very far short of the ground's 32,000 capacity, Powell's team had begun to create some chances in between times. The best of them came when Alex Scott, the adventurous right-back, won the ball in an attacking area and crossed for Karen Carney to head just past the angle of bar and post.

Canada, "organised and structured" according to Powell, were proving that and more, giving no room to Arsenal's Ellen White, who was awarded her first start with her club-mate Kelly Smith not risking a minor injury. With White regularly crowded out, further scoring opportunities were slow to arrive and it was not until just after the hour that Steph Houghton, the leading scorer with three goals, was sufficiently far forward to hit a shot that sailed high and wide.

White could not complain at being replaced just after that by the Evertonian Fara Williams, who came into midfield with Little and the taller Jill Scott pushed further forward. In contrast, Melissa Tancredi, who plays professionally in Sweden and went into the game as the tournament's top scorer, needed careful watching and had willing support from Sinclair.

Britain had not managed an attempt on target since midway through the first half and there was an increasing air of desperation about both their play and the crowd's encouragement. The nearest they came to forcing a close finish was when a legitimate penalty appeal was turned down by the Japanese referee after Rhian Wilkinson clipped Eniola Aluko.

Woman of the match Sinclair.

Match rating 5/10.

Referee S Yamagishi (Japan).

Attendance 30,000.

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?