Hosts Canada keep Women´s World Cup dream alive

Vancouver: A Josee Belanger second-half goal was enough to keep hosts´ Canada´s Women´s World Cup dream alive in a slim 1-0 win over Switzerland which gave them a quarter-final spot.


The 29-year-old from Quebec scored the winner after 52 minutes to the delight of a passionate home crowd of 53,855 at Vancouver´s BC Place Stadium on Sunday.

Olympic bronze medallists Canada, fourth in 2003 and ranked eighth, next play either former champions Norway or England next Saturday in Vancouver for a place in the semi-final.

Switzerland, competing in their first World Cup and ranked 19th, had advanced from the group stage as one of the best third-place finishers.

In a high-intensity balanced match, Switzerland´s Ramona Bachmann had a near post shot pushed out early on.

Canada´s best chance of the half came when Belanger´s cross struck the post and bounced off goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann to safety.

Belanger finally got the breakthrough from a cross from captain Christine Sinclair, with Switzerland´s Ana Maria Crnogorcevic almost getting the equaliser ten minutes later but headed over.

Goalkeeper Erin McLeod made a key save 12 minutes from time as she denied Vanessa Bernauer from close range off a Bachmann cross.

Debutants Switzerland head home looking to build their young squad for the European championships in 2017.