Canada Dealt Setback With Draw Against Nigeria At World Cup
Canada and Nigeria drew 0-0 in Group B action on Friday in Melbourne.
It wasn’t the result they were looking for and a disappointed team walked past the media in the mix zone.
“We showed a lot of strengths in where we want to play,” said Kailen Sheridan. “I think there were a few nerves for the first little bit and we are really looking to taking a step further against Ireland.”
In front of over 21,000 fans in attendance at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, which including a boisterous Nigerian fan base that was loud all game long, Canada and Nigeria played to a 0-0 draw.
“I think they were in a very organized low block early on,” Bev Priestman said. “In the first half at times, I felt we didn’t move the ball quick enough.”
Canada came out flying at the beginning of the match and for the first 15 minutes of the game dominated with 67% of possession, controlling the game and the tempo.
“To keep a clean sheet against the threats that they got and by the end not losing the three points… that’s what it was.”
Adrianna Leon was the lone striker and all week the question was would Jesse Fleming play, and despite her being available she didn’t – Priestman confirmed in her post-match press conference she wasn’t ready for it.
Early in the second half, Canada was given a huge opportunity when Christine Sinclair was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty, but she was stopped by Nigerian keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, who won Player of The Match Award.
“You move on quickly. Like I said, Christine Sinclair scores many goals for this country and everyone can forgive her for missing the penalty – they are a 50/50 chance.”
After missing the penalty, Sinclair dropped to her knees in anguish and after the game looked completely distraught.
I asked Bev Priestman if the result today was a concerning one for Canada.
“This happened to us in the opening game in Tokyo and I did say we would grow in the tournament. Honestly, did I envision a 0-0 draw? Probably not, it’s not ideal, but I am super proud of the effort. We will keep growing and move on to the next task.”
Canada will now travel to Perth on Monday to face Ireland on July 26th at NIB Stadium.