Canada have produced a stirring fightback to beat Finland 3-2, coming from two goals down to secure a result that keeps their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup hopes alive.
The hosts looked to be heading for the exit until the game turned dramatically on an inspired double half-time substitution by Andrew Olivieri. Both players introduced to the fray, Janine Beckie and Valerie Sanderson, found the net, while Beckie also claimed an assist for the winning goal to spark jubilation in the crowd of 16,503.
The changes also helped to transform a Canada side that had been toothless in a first half that mirrored their difficulties in the opening match against Ghana. Olivieri's side looked unconvincing from the first whistle and certainly made the worst possible start, conceding the opening goal after just three minutes. It was a poor goal to lose too, with slack defending at a corner allowing Juliette Kemppi to head in from three yards after Natalia Kuikki's initial effort had rebounded back off the crossbar.
Canada attempted to rally but while the lively Jessie Fleming tried her luck with a 25-yard effort that clipped the crossbar on its way over, there was little to trouble the Finnish defence. Indeed, the Nordic side remained the more potent attacking force and, with 21 minutes played, the sharp and speedy Kemppi doubled their advantage.
Again, the Canadians did not help themselves, with the Finnish No9 set up by a loose defensive pass by Sura Yekka. There was still plenty of work to do though and Kemppi completed the job with aplomb, bursting through before firing brilliantly into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box.
At this stage, there seemed little prospect of the scoreline being turned around. But Olivieri's half-time tinkering breathed new life into his team, with Beckie the first to make an impact. Just three minutes of the second half had elapsed when the Canada No11 jumped highest to meet a well-worked short corner and, despite the efforts of Finland's defenders on the goal-line, the ball struck the base of the post and trickled over the line.
Then, two minutes later - and with the crowd still on their feet - an equaliser arrived. This time it was the other sub, Valerie Sanderson, who found the net, with her shot spinning up off the legs of goalkeeper Vera Varis and into the top corner after Nichelle Prince had done well to cut the ball back from the byline. And while this early promise seemed to fade a little as the second half wore on, the final act of this compelling drama was to unfold with just ten minutes left on the clock.
It was also fitting that Prince, having worked tirelessly and set up the first equaliser, should be the player to clinch a memorable win. Beckie was again heavily involved, staying on her feet under pressure from the Finnish defence and firing in a shot that was spilled by Varis, leaving Prince with the simplest of tap-ins.
Canada will now head to Montreal to face group leaders Korea DPR in their final, decisive Group A match, while Finland know only a win against Ghana will be sufficient to maintain any prospect of advancing to the last eight.
Live Your Goals player of the match: Nichelle Prince (CAN)