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Women’s World Cup game preview: Canada vs. New Zealand


Canada, which beat Cameroon in its opener, could secure a spot in the round of 16 with a win in its second match. New Zealand suffered heartbreak in its first match when the Netherlands scored a game-winner in injury time. The Football Ferns could be fighting for their lives against Canada if the Netherlands beats Cameroon in the other match in Group E, which will be played earlier on Saturday. Canada is 6-1-4 against New Zealand all time. These two teams last met at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, a wet match that was delayed for 30 minutes in the first half by a storm and ended in a 0-0 draw.


Abby Erceg

The Dutch dominated possession against New Zealand, controlling the ball 69 per cent of the time and taking 17 shots. Only three were on target, though, in part because of Erceg, the centre back who is the heart of the Football Ferns defence and the controller of the back line. Canada will have to get past Erceg, who retired from the international game last May because she was unhappy with the team environment, only to return after former New Zealand coach Andreas Heraf resigned amid allegations of bullying.


Canada finishes off the group stage by facing arguably its toughest first-round opponent, the Netherlands, on Thursday at noon.

Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy

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