A lone Josee Belanger goal soon after half-time was enough for host nation Canada to continue their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ odyssey at the expense of Switzerland.
There was plenty of endeavour from both teams for the big Vancouver crowd but there was only limited creativity to threaten the goal amid a high-energy contest.
Ramona Bachmann was typically lively throughout the contest and the Sweden-based forward had a near post shot pushed out early on.
Canada’s best chance of the half was inadvertently created as Belanger’s cross struck the far post with the ricochet bouncing off goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann and away to safety.
Canada grabbed the all-important opener just after the break in what was always likely to be a match of small margins. Belanger was on the end of a Canada move sweeping the ball home from near the penalty spot with a tidy first-time finish, having profited from Christine Sinclair’s assist.
Switzerland’s Ana Maria Crnogorcevic headed over the bar in a rare sight of Erin McLeod’s goal. Canada provided plenty of headaches for Thalmann with delivery from wide areas and Caroline Abbe was forced to clear Belanger’s shot off the line during one such moment.
McLeod had a rare but crucial save to make with 12 minutes remaining bravely smothering to deny Vanessa Bernauer from close range after Bachmann was again the instigator.
Canada are now into next Saturday’s quarter-final in Vancouver and await the winner of England-Norway.
*Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Erin McLeod (Canada) *