Draw leaves Canada top
© Foto-net

Canada preserved their position at the top of Group A but missed the chance to seal their place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare, drawing 1-1 with Colombia at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium.

The Canucks were certainly quicker out of the blocks and were rewarded for their early enterprise inside nine minutes when Tiffany Cameron showed strength and intelligence to tee up Nkem Ezurike for a first-time, side-foot shot low into the bottom left-hand corner.

However, the North Americans' lead lasted little over a minute, with Colombia hitting back immediately through Ingrid Vidal, who nipped in ahead of marker Lauren Grandberg to lob the advancing Genevieve Richard.

This was developing into one of New Zealand 2008's most evenly-matched contests to date, with the South American champions dominating possession and Canada, with their superior physique, looking dangerous every time they ventured forward.

The North Americans certainly created the better chances of a drab second half, the best of which fell to left-sided midfielder Shelina Zadorsky, who twice failed to hit the target when she might have been expected to at least test the goalkeeper.

The highlight of the half, however, came when the Canucks' keeper produced arguably the save of the tournament thus far, somehow clawing away a long-range effort from Vanessa Aponte that had looked destined for the top corner.