Team GB women’s football team bow out at quarter-final stage
Hope Powell’s ladies bowed out at the quarter-final stage of the Olympic competition tonight, losing 2-0 to an impressive Canadian side.
Going into tonight’s game, GB were riding a wave of momentum that had seen them go undefeated through the group stage which culminated in a famous 1-0 victory over the mighty Brazil. Perhaps this victory caused some complacency within the women’s camp and maybe the feeling of invincibility that can come with having such overwhelming home support was also a telling factor.
That isn’t to take anything away from an impressive Canadian side, who are ranked seventh in the world. Coached by Brit John Herdman, the Maple Leafs were well prepared for GB and didn’t waste any time in putting the pressure on the home team, inside a Ricoh Arena decked in red, white and blue by the enthusiastic supporters.
It took Jonelle Filigno only 11 minutes to find the back of the net and stun the majority of the rowdy home support. GB hadn’t conceded a goal in the tournament until Filigno’s half volley flew past Karen Bardsley, and it was about to go from bad to worse as the Canadians doubled their lead barely 15 minutes later. A poorly set wall meant Christine Sinclair had a big target to aim for, and she didn’t miss with a well-placed free kick.
Despite its best efforts to get back into the game, GB was always playing second fiddle. Goalmouth action was at a minimum in the second half, which saw the Canadian keeper go untested.
There was major controversy late into the game as Eniola Aluko seemed to be blatantly fouled in the area, however, the Japanese referee deemed it unintentional, much to the dismay of the crowd.
All in all, it was a deserved win for Canada and a disappointing night for Team GB who will reflect on what could have been. Let’s hope the men can go a step further and fight for a medal when they take on South Korea.
Dan Cain, Olympics correspondent