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Women's Football News
Great Britain 0 Canada 2 (Filigno 12, Sinclair 26)
Great Britain's hopes of Olympic glory came to a crashing end as they were beaten 2-0 by Canada at the City of Coventry Stadium.
Hope Powell's side sorely missed the injured Kelly Smith but they were outplayed by a strong Canada side which was orchestrated by the superb Christine Sinclair and two first half goals put paid to their chances of progressing to the last four.
Buoyed by the win over Brazil three days earlier, a noisy home crowd tried to get behind the Great Britain but Canada - experienced at playing in front of large attendances - were not intimidated. There was a sign of things to come during the early stages as Canada controlled possession and looked dangerous going forward.
Melissa Tancredi tested Karen Bardsley early on but Canada's enterprising start was rewarded in the 12th minute when they took the lead. Sophie Schmidt took a corner on the right and drilled a low ball to the edge of the area where Jonelle Filigno lashed a powerful strike which soared into the top corner, past a helpless Bardsley and Karen Carney on the line.
GB responded with their first effort of the game, Jill Scott striding forward before her shot flew straight at Erin McLeod. They did however pass up a great chance to equalise on the midway point when Alex Scott whipped in an excellent cross from the right and Carney got inside Rhian Wilkinson but her header failed to hit the target from six yards.
Four minutes later, Canada took a firm grip on the game by going two goals ahead. Kim Little was initially dispossessed by Desiree Scott and although the Scottish midfielder battled back, she hauled down her opponent just outside the area. Sinclair stepped up to plant a shot past the wall and under the dive of Bardsley to increase her side's lead.
Stung by the second goal, GB produced their best move of the game when Steph Houghton's pass was laid off by Little for Ellen White whose shot was deflected wide. GB did win a number of corners but found goalkeeper McLeod in fine form and her handling was faultless under pressure.
Canada continued to look smooth going forward with Sinclair at the heart of most attacks whilst the impressive Diana Matheson was having a fine game on the right, meaning that their side were well worthy of their two-goal advantage at the break.
GB were expected to step up pace early in the second half but could not make any impression on a Canada side which was now content to keep things tight and hit on the break. One such counter attack led to Tancredi breaking into the area but her shot did not trouble Bardsley.
Fara Williams came on as a substitute in place of White and she was soon involved with a clever piece of play which took her past Lauren Sesselmann and to the goal line but her driven cross was just beyond the reach of Jill Scott.
Canada remained disciplined at the back and denied GB any space or time on the ball but the host side did have strong claims for a penalty when Wilkinson dived into a tackle and appeared to bring down Eniola Aluko but the referee - who had been incredibly lenient on nearly all challenges all evening - waved play on.
Hope Powell threw on Rachel Williams and Rachel Yankey in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game but they could have found themselves three behind when Sinclair made a strong run into the area which took her past Casey Stoney's challenge but she shot straight at Bardsley.
Fara Williams was off target from long range and a late goalmouth scramble saw McLeod finally gather the ball before Stoney or Fara Williams could force it home, and the final chance was gone.
There will be much disappointment after three group victories had built up expectations for GB but Canada were too strong on the day and John Herdman's side can now look forward to taking on the United States in the semi finals at Old Trafford on Monday.
Great Britain: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Casey Stoney, Sophie Bradley (sub Rachel Yankey 84mins), Karen Carney, Anita Asante, Ellen White (sub Fara Williams 63mins), Kim Little (sub Rachel Williams 82mins), Eniola Aluko. Subs not used: Rachel Brown, Kelly Smith, Claire Rafferty, Dunia Susi.
Canada: Erin McLeod, Rhian Wilkinson, Lauren Sesselmann, Carmelina Moscato, Marie-Eve Nault, Sophie Schmidt (sub Kelly Parker 78mins), Jonelle Filigno (sub Kaylyn Kyle 61mins), Diana Matheson, Christine Sinclair (sub Brittany Timko 88mins), Melissa Tancredi, Desiree Scott. Subs not used: Karina Leblanc, Chelsea Stewart, Candace Chapman, Melanie Booth.
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