Hard working Great Britain lose out to Canada at World ChampionshipsFebruary 6, 2024
World Championships ever-presents Canada were too strong for Great Britain in their second match at the World Aquatics Championships.
After taking on Europe’s elite in recent months, Great Britain faced a new challenge as they took on the two time bronze medallists but were beaten 20-5 by a clinical Canada side at the Aspire Dome in Doha.
Like against Italy in their Great Britain managed to get a lot of shots off but Olympic qualifcation hopefuls Canada were just too strong across the match-up.
It means that Great Britain face a crunch match in their final group game with South Africa on Thursday.
The result against the African side will decide their fate ahead of the crossover matches. Victory will see them finish in third place and advance to the crossovers whilst a defeat would see them finish bottom of Group D and into the 13-16th place playoffs.
Canada started strongly with two goals inside the opening two minutes before a VAR review awarded them their third.
A counter-attack shot from Shae La Roche looked like it was excellently saved from Sophie Jackson but after review the ball was shown to have just crossed the line.
The Canadians then asserted their dominance to move into a 6-1 lead at the end of the first quarter but Great Britain did create a number of early chances of their own. Brooke Tafazolli’s long range effort was heading for the top corner before it was stopped by the ever-impressive Canadian defence
Lily Turner then fired a shot on a man-up opportunity that was expertly blocked by Hayley McKelvey before an Amelia Peters effort was well saved at the near post.
It took the GB team until the final minute of the opening quarter to finally break through the Canadian back line. It came from another man-up opportunity when Turner chipped a pass over her marker to Toula Falvey who latched onto it and fired it into the bottom right hand corner.
Improving as the game went on
GB looked stronger in the second period, opening up the scoring through Katy Cutler. A crossfield pass found the British number seven free on the left hand side where she was able to place the ball past the keeper to bring the gap down to just four.
Brooke Tafazolli’s deflected shot then bounced into the top corner to but player of the match Elyse Lemay-Lavoie hit a quickfire double to regain control for the Canadians.
They led 11-3 at half time to put the game virtually beyond reach for a British side that kept on fighting throughout.
The GB defence and keeper Sophie Jackson kept the Canadian attack quiet to start the second half, not allowing them to add to their tally in the first six minutes but couldn’t quite find the openings they needed at the other end.
Alex Robinson got some crucial World Championships minutes taking the place of starting goalkeeper Jackson for the final period.
The Rotherham Metro keeper was straight into the action, reacting well to stop a point blank effort from inside just 30 seconds into the final period.
She and the British team battled on but they couldn’t stop the experienced Canada from extending their advantage to 15 at the final whistle.
Turner did get herself back amongst the goals after her hat trick against Italy with a long range effort to get Great Britain back on the scoresheet.
Falvey then completed the British scoring with a final goal of the match with a powerful effort after being teed up by Katie Brown.
‘Thank you for the support’
Speaking after the match GB captain Kathy Rogers said: “We came here to play these games. We’re back on the world stage and we have to start somewhere.
“We haven’t been here for more than 10 years so this is like ground zero. We want to come back to these tournaments and to start with we’ve got to have a baseline which we can build and build in the coming years.
“It was a physical game and I’m really pleased with the girls. Our third quarter was really strong and everyone touched the water, everyone on the team contributed which is really good so I’m proud of the girls for sticking with it.
“I think when you play the top teams it’s the speed of which they move the ball and the physicality of the way they press and as you play them you pick up the little things like having to move the ball quicker ourselves to get goals and being a bit more physical to create more opportunities.
“When you play these top teams you pick up little things which we can take into our next match to aid our performance.
“The South Africa match is a really big game, to get third in our group is really important to us. Last time we were here in 2013 we came 13th and if we beat South Africa we’re guaranteed to come third and finish in the top 12.
Rogers also took the time to send a message of thanks to all those supporting the team back home.
“Firstly I’m so grateful for them watching and their support,” she said.
“We’re here representing them and we want to do them proud. It’s tough to have these losses but we’re so grateful for their support, knowing that junior girls are watching and thinking that next time or the time after that it could be them.
“But also watching the Italians play or the Canadians play and seeing the goals thinking that’s the level we want to be like so just keep working hard and thank you for the support.”
Great Britain’s women are back in action against South Africa at 7:30am UK time on Thursday. You can watch the match on Eurovision Sport here.