Canada secured an impressive 2-1 win over group winners Ghana to win through to the last-eight despite being down to ten players for nearly half the match. Canada needed a win to guarantee holding off Korea DPR and Germany who were playing concurrently in Alajuela.
Forward Marie Levasseur, in her first match back from injury, netted an opening-half double to set Canada on their way to a quarter-final berth. However, the dismissal of Bianca St Georges early in the second period changed the complexion of the match completely.
Powerful striker Sandra Owusu Ansah scored midway through the second half leaving Canada to demonstrate what is fast becoming trademark resilience to hang on for their reward. Ghana made just a couple of changes to their line-up despite first place being guaranteed prior to the match.
But it was Canada who went ahead after just nine minutes when Levasseur finished a sweeping move with a perfect left-foot shot into the far corner. Canada captain Jessie Fleming hit the crossbar from long-range almost immediately as the north Americans threatened to take an early stranglehold.
A fumble under pressure at the near post from Canada goalkeeper Rylee Foster saw two Ghana efforts blocked, the second on the line by St Georges. Five minutes before half-time, Canada went two goals to the good with a back post header from point-blank range after Marie Mychele Metivier’s looping cross.
Within minutes of the restart, St Georges was sent off after bundling over Princella Abudea with what was the first red card of the tournament. Owusu Ansah ensured a tense finale when she forced her way through on goal and fired home superbly
Ghana mounted intense pressure in the latter stages of the match, notably Owusu Ansah was denied by a great challenge from Rachel Jones in a similar situation to Ghana’s goal, but Canada’s resilience remained impressively stout.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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