GAME OVER! The final whistle goes! Canada hangs on to beat the Swiss and book a spot in the quarterfinals. It’s a deserved victory, but Switzerland put up a good fight and might feel they could have won this.
90′ – The last 10 minutes has seen little action. But as four minutes of injury time progresses, the Swiss get a corner. McLeod jumps, holds and stays on the ground, seemingly shaken up.
80′ With Canada defending, Schmidt is playing farther up the field. She combines nicely with Sinclair and, from the edge of the box, sends an enticing pass along the front of goal, but Filigno can’t convert on the chance.
77′ McLeod saves the Canadians’ bacon after a cross bounces across the 6-yard-box and finds its way to a Swiss attacker who turns, finds space and shoots, but can’t beat the Canadian keeper.
73′ – Canada is finding more spaces in the Swiss defence, but only one goal continues to separate the teams as attendance for the game is announced at 53,855. Some attendance figures at the World Cup have been questionable. This one is not.
67′ – Canada threaten again. Tancredi’s cross across the front of goal falls just in between the hands of the Swiss keeper and an on-rushing Canadian attacker. The keeper may have got a touch on the ball. The ball is played back in and a scramble has the Swiss keeper out of position. Belanger tries to volley the ball home, but can’t make solid contact and a Swiss defender clears. Tancredi is subbed for Jonelle Filigno to boisterous applause.
64′ – A Sinclair header near midfield sends the Canadian on a break. A cross is whipped over and falls enticingly to Tancredi at the edge of the box, but her touch is heavy and the chance evaporates.
59‘- Bachmann is hauled down 30 yards from goal. Trickery from the freekick results in a free header for a Swiss attacker 10 yards out, but Ana Maria Crnogorcevic’s header sails over the bar.
56′- A Canadian free kick in the Swiss half sees Schmidt standing over the ball. The delivery is low, though, and the Swiss clear.
55′ – The game has opened up now that the Swiss need a goal. Switzerland forwards Lara Dickenmann and Ramona Bachmann continue to look dangerous. Dickenmann weaves her way into the Canadian 18 before the ball is hacked clear
GOAL! 51- The Canadians buzz around the Swiss end and several enticing crosses later, Josee Belanger neatly sidefoots the ball into the Switzerland net from 12 yards out. It was a perfect finish from Belanger, and BC Place is alive.
46′ – The game gets underway with a free kick for Canada at half. Goalie Erin McLeod takes and a Tancredi flick-on falls just out of reach for an onrushing Canadians.
(STILL) Halftime – Switzerland was ranked 19th in the world, 11 spots behind Canada, entering the Women’s World Cup and lost twice in the group stage, beating only lowly Ecuador. But they looked as dangerous as the Canadians in the first half. Even if they can’t keep that pace up, they’ve kept the score close and right now have a chance to win it with a lucky bounce (or call).
HALFTIME – The referee’s whistle brings a nervous first half to a close. Both sides had chances, with Canada hitting the ball and Switzerland missing a glorious chance from a corner. Canada are favoured here, but coach John Herdman will be looking for more composure on the ball in the second half.
45′ – Schmidt gets the ball on the left side of the field near half. A Swiss player grabs her jersey, but the ref makes no call and Schmidt sends a ball down the line towards Tancredi, who cuts towards goal but can’t beat a phalanx of defenders.
41′ – Schmidt attempt to send Christine Sinclair in on goal, but the pass is cut out.
39′ – Switzerland’s Ramona Bachmann turns on the afterburners and eludes a pair of Canadian defenders on the edge of the 18. She slides an enticing pass towards a teammate 12 yards out, but Josee Belange is back to clear the danger.
37′– Canada is getting further into the Swiss half, but can’t find the needed pass to create chances.
33′ – A key intervention from Kadeisha Buchanan stymies a Swiss attack into Canada’s 18-yard-box.
29′ The game has settled down a bit. Scrappy play continues, with Canada enjoying the majority of possession.
21′ – Running down the right deep into Swiss territory, Tancredi burns her defender and attempts to cross. The ball hits another Swiss defender prompting a cry for a penalty and a roar from the crowd. The ref is unswayed and the game continues.
16′ – An attempted Canadian cross from the right drifts dangerously towards goal and off the left upright! The crowd lets out a roar at the close call. The ball is played back in the box, and a collision between Tancredi and Swiss keeper Gaelle Thalmann ensues. Thalmann stays on the ground for a minute before being helped up. She’ll play on.
14′ – Christine Sinclair is booked for a foul. The ensuing free kick results in a corner that falls dangerously to a Swiss player in the six-yard box, but she is unable to convert.
11′ – Switzerland get a corner, but Schmidt heads the ball away from danger.
8′ – Fans are still filtering into BC Place. They haven’t missed much, beyond a pair of soft touches back to the Swiss keeper that prompted a quick reaction and plenty of gasps among the partisan crowd.
Team Canada and Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt hope to knock off Switzerland in the round-of-16 elimination game match. The game started at 4:30 p.m. and is expected to be played in front of a full house.