Roord nets Dutch winner; Argentina thwart Japan


Roord nets Dutch winner; Argentina thwart Japan
Netherlands' midfielder Jill Roord celebrates after scoring a goal against New Zealand. (AFP)

Paris - The victory lifts the European champions into a tie with Canada atop Group E.


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Published: Tue 11 Jun 2019, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jun 2019, 12:18 AM

Jill Roord came off the bench and headed home from close range in added time on Tuesday to give the Netherlands a 1-0 women's World Cup victory over New Zealand in Le Havre.
The victory lifts the European champions into a tie with Canada atop Group E.
On Monday, Canada found the goal they needed to beat Cameroon but Argentina frustrated Japan and collected a first-ever Women's World Cup point.
In Paris, Argentina restricted Japan, finalists in the last two World Cups, to three dangerous chances without creating a clear scoring opportunity of their own as the game ended in the first goalless draw of the competition and only the seventh in the competition's history. The result leaves both teams on one point in Group D.
When the whistle blew, Argentina's substitutes jumped off the bench to join the players on the pitch at finally getting a World Cup point at the seventh attempt.
"This point is really important for us. I think we're able to reflect upon what Argentina is and what it means as a team," said Estefania Banini, Argentina's captain who was voted player of the match.
"We weren't good enough to break down Argentina's defence today," said Asako Takakura, the Japan coach.
Argentina came out to defend in depth and the approach worked.
"Basically we couldn't play any other way against this team," said Carlos Borrello, the Argentina manager.
"It was satisfying to gain a point in this World Cup."
Banini, short, left-footed and wearing number 10, has inevitably been dubbed the female Lionel Messi, but in build and manner she more closely resembles another left-footed Argentine 10, Diego Maradona.
She was tenacious both with and without the ball and both first-half yellow cards were for rough Japanese challenges on the Argentine captain.
Japan played with more urgency in the second half, pushing Argentina back.
"We don't set out to be defensive against any team," said Takakura. "Of course we have to keep a very solid defence but we don't want to play defensive football. It wasn't in our mindset at all. But the players were cautious today.
"In the second half, they realised they had to be more offensive - so their tempo was faster and they attempted more shots at goal."

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