Canadian dreams end in nightmare loss to England
Canada coach John Herdman said he could not have asked for any more from his side
Canada captain Christine Sinclair apologised to her coach following their 2-1 quarter-final defeat to England at the Women’s World Cup on Saturday but John Herdman said his skipper had nothing to be sorry about.
After conceding just one goal in four matches, Canada surrendered two in three minutes early in the opening half. They pulled one back before the break but were unable to unlock England’s defence in the second half.
Canada coach John Herdman said he could not have asked for any more from his side.
“I’m proud of my girls, they give you everything,” he told reporters. “It just wasn’t good enough tonight and the dream is over.”
Herdman, more muted than he has been so far at this World Cup, said Sinclair had apologised to him after the game.
“She can’t say sorry, she was just a legend again tonight,” he said of Canada’s all-time leading scorer. “She was outstanding, answered some of the critics, stood up in the big moment when she needed to.”
Sinclair, who scored Canada’s goal, said her team mates were struggling to come to terms with the loss.
“This stings. We’re all a little emotional and upset,” she told reporters. “Obviously it’s not how we wanted the tournament to end.
“Anytime you get knocked out of a tournament, you’re upset,” she added. “Especially when I don’t think we deserved to go out like that.”
Canada, who beat England 1-0 in a friendly in May ahead of the tournament, were visibly upset at the final whistle, with many openly crying as they trudged off the field.
Outside the stadium, Canadian fans refused to let the loss get them down, gathering in groups to sing the national anthem and chant “Canada! Canada!”
“This has been great for the sport and for the Canadian women players,” said Cameron Taylor, who attended the match with his wife and children. “We’ll just keep expecting more.”
There was some concern, however, that with the home team now out of the tournament, local interest in the upcoming semi-finals and final could wane.
England will play defending champions Japan on July 1 -- Canada Day -- with the United States playing Germany a day earlier.
“It’s tough. I’m part of the local soccer community here and this definitely takes the air out of the excitement for sure,” said Neil Samaratunga, who had draped himself in a Canadian flag. “It was an unlucky finish and it’s heartbreaking.”