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Thursday, 7 August 2008

Kiwi Gals Prove All White on the Night

1 comment:

Mark said...

The Kiwis proved good enough to hold on for a 2-2 draw despite Japan's late charge. Much of this was due to a fine display by Jenny Bindon in goal, who made one excellent save and whose good positioning prevented Japan from scoring on another couple of occasions.

Although Japan controlled much of the game, the All Whites made the better start and controlled the opening quarter of an hour. They took the lead after 30 minutes when Kirsty Yallop capitalised on a criminal lack of communication in Japan's back line to tap home from close range after defender Kinga failed to clear a simple cross. They then extended their lead early in the second half when they were awarded the first of two puzzling penalties given in the game by the South African referee. Several players tumbled over as a corner came across, but none seemed to have been caused by foul play, rather than players simply loosing their balance. However, Ms Mitchell obviously thought otherwise, and forward Hearn made no mistake from the spot.

Having awarded the Kiwis a dodgy PK, Mitchell made up for the decision by awarding Japan a only slightly less dodgy penalty 15 minutes later. This encouraged Japan and saw them press for the equaliser. This finally came as time ran down, with Sawa flicking home at the near post.

The draw means that both teams will probably now have to get results against the two strongest teams in the group, USA and Norway, if they are to progress to the knockout stages.