Canada top group despite Netherlands draw

An early Ashley Lawrence goal seemed enough for Canada to earn victory, only for the Netherlands’ Kirsten van de Ven to equalise with three minutes remaining to leave the hosts topping the group and their opponents awaiting their fate as a likely third-best qualifier.

Canada opened in forceful fashion with Sophie Schmidt looping a header on to the crossbar, but the Canucks didn’t have to wait long for their goal. Lawrence profited as the Netherlands failed to clear their lines, with the young midfielder guiding the ball into the net from 15 yards on the ten-minute mark.

The lively Lawrence was a constant menace, firing in multiple efforts, including one near miss just after the goal. With every permutation in the group standings still possible, the match evened itself out as play invariably switched from end to end. The Dutch forward trio, backed by No10 Danielle van de Donk, always looking likely to do damage.

Despite the endeavour from both teams, genuine goalscoring opportunities were at a premium during the second half, and both defences looked strong in keeping with previous matches in the group.

Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who had been a spectator for large chunks of the match, pulled off a fine save to deny Manon Melis as she bore down on goal with six minutes remaining.

But the Netherlands were not to be denied and substitute Van De Ven drew her side level after being sent free by Melis, as McLeod was finally beaten for the first time at the tournament much to the disappointment of the Montreal crowd.

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Manon Melis (Netherlands)