Sunday, June 7, 2015

Women's World Cup Day 1: Hosts win late, Dutch handle New Zealand

Canada 1-0 China
Canada controlled the match with 64% of possession and 14 total shots. They got lucky not to go down 1-0 in the 24th minute when a Chinese free kick from Wang Lisi struck both posts before bumbling to safety. Canada's Josee Belanger found a post of her own a couple minutes later that also deflected harmlessly away. It wasn't until stoppage time that something actually went in. Zhao Rong took down Adriana Leon in the penalty area to concede a penalty to Canada. Christine Sinclair tucked home the shot just inside the posts to start the tournament with three points to the hosts.

New Zealand 0-1 Netherlands
Still only one goal in this one, but it was a gorgeous one. Lieke Martens curled a shot from just outside the area for the first Women's World Cup goal in Netherlands history. The Football Ferns didn't go away quietly. They did outshoot the Orange 10-6 and had a slight advantage in possession over the entire match. Regardless, the Dutch held on and took the three points.

Today's Matches
Today brings us two more matches that should both be blowouts. Norway takes on Thailand at 1pm. Norway are 5 1/2 goal favorites if that says anything about how much drama there could be here. But don't go throwing your life savings on Norwegian domination. This is the World Cup and I expect Thailand to play nice and negatively on their way to trying to not lose. It will fail, but not by more than five. I am going with a 4-0 win for Norway.

Germany takes in Ivory Coast in the late afternoon game at 4:00. Germany are heavy favorites here. I like a 4-0 scoreline in their favor as well.

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