Day nine saw the picture in Group E grow clearer with all four teams in action overnight.
NETHERLANDS V CAMEROON
The Netherlands secured their place in the knockout stages, courtesy of a 3-1 win over a resilient Cameroon in Valenciennes.
After requiring a stoppage-time winner in their first match against New Zealand, the Europeans once again found it difficult to make an early breakthrough. However, in this game the Leeuwinnen were able to take the lead before half time.
Shanice van de Sanden delivered an inch-perfect cross from the right flank, picking out the run of Vivianne Miedema. The striker expertly headed the ball past goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom from the edge of the six yard box.
Up to this point, Cameroon had produced zero shots on target against Canada, but Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné had her side level just moments later. The forward showed great determination and skill to create and convert her chance after a long ball over the top of the defensive line.
— Sarai Bareman (@SarBareman) June 15, 2019
The two teams would enter the break level, but the Netherlands did not take long to regain the lead in the second half. A well-worked free-kick down the right side allowed Dominique Bloodworth to poke home from close range after the defence failed to clear the initial cross.
The European champions sealed the win with a third in the 85th minute. Miedema received the ball on the left before driving towards goal and firing home from the edge of the box, giving Ngo Ndom no chance.
That goal sees Miedema become her nation’s all-time top scorer at just 22 years of age, and the Arsenal striker looks ready to increase her tally across the remainder of the tournament.
Netherlands 3 (Miedema 41′ 85′, Bloodworth 48′)
Cameroon 1 (Onguéné 43′)
CANADA V NEW ZEALAND
Canada eased home in the second half to see off New Zealand with a dominant performance in Grenoble.
The Football Ferns were struck an early blow as fullback CJ Bott suffered a broken wrist, forcing an early substitution and a positional reshuffle. The stoppage nearly paid immediate dividends for Canada, with Christine Sinclair rattling the crossbar and the follow-up header cleared off the line.
New Zealand’s best opening of the first half came from a swashbuckling forward run by defender Rebekah Stott, culminating in a gilt-edged opportunity on the volley for Olivia Chance, but it was skewed well wide of the target.
The Canadians seemed to make the most of the half-time break, opening the scoring in the 48th minute.
A blistering run down the left from Nichelle Prince drew the attention of two defenders before the winger threaded a delicate cutback between them, picking out Jessie Fleming inside the penalty area. The striker produced a precise first-time finish to caress the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 15, 2019
After being denied by a phenomenal save from Erin Nayler minutes earlier, Prince then picked up a deserved goal with eleven minutes remaining. A Sinclair header struck the woodwork for the second time in the match, however this time Prince was able to pounce on the loose ball and double her side’s advantage.
The result marks Canada’s best-ever start to a World Cup campaign and sets up a mouth-watering showdown for top spot in the group against the Netherlands.
Canada 2 (Fleming 48′, Prince 79′)
New Zealand 0