Teams: Toronto FC, Fiorentina, Barša
This was more like the Canadian team I had been expecting to show up at the World Cup. It was hard-hitting, physical soccer. Not pretty, but fast.
Hooper's goal was a beauty, but the real star of the match was goalkeeper Taryn Swiatek. She came into the tournament with six international caps at the senior level, and has played the last three of Canada's matches at the WWC - two of them clean sheets.
Her performance against China was flawless. Always perfectly positioned, very quick to react, absolutely fearless, and cool as ice, Swiatek has to be a leading candidate for the World Cup all-star team.
Canada had far less possession time than China, but that's just because of the difference in playing styles - China relies on stringing short passes together, while Canada plays more of an aerial attack. I thought Canada was full value for the win, although China could well have won the match had it not been for Swiatek.
This wouldn't be the World Cup, of course, without god-awful refereeing. And this match had plenty of that, thanks to the vivid imagination of American referee Kari Seitz. Neither China nor Canada thought much of her calls, as evidenced by the fact that each team had a player cautioned for dissent.
Now Canada is headed for a climactic confrontation with either USA or Germany (again!), depending on the outcome of the semifinals.
Last edited by Jeff; October 3rd, 2003 at 07:04.