Zimbabwe Junior Women’s team beat Canada in their opening 2021 Junior World Cup match
Dragflick Newsdesk : Zimbabwe shocked the opening day as they earned a historic 2-1 victory over Pan American junior champions, Canada, in the second game of Pool A play.
Following the match Natalie Terblanche was named Player of the Match and she said:
‘We were under a lot of pressure. We were trying to hold our possession so we wouldn’t let them take us in the last few minutes but it was a good game. I’m glad we put the two in first to keep the pressure and get the win.’
Tremendous defence and tenacious attack fended the nervous Canadian side off. Alexi Terblanche scored in the fifth minute on a baseline cross that deflected in off Canadian defender Harnoor Malhi to beat keeper Ishaval Sekhon.
Lilian Pope fired the ball between the legs of Sekhon after some brave efforts from Gugulethu Sibanda in the second quarter to make it 2-0, the score line that stood at half time. Canada struggled to convert in the circle, squandering away multiple penalty corner chances.
Zimbabwe picked up three yellow cards in the final two quarters, giving Canada a two-person advantage at one point late in the game. Canada’s Sam McCrory mustered an effort towards goal on another broken down penalty corner but this time midfielder Stefanie Sajko was there to get Canada on the board.
Late in the game, McCrory’s 3D efforts almost notched a tying goal but the calm Jenna Mathieson, in goal for Zimbabwe, denied that chance, as she did all game. The victory comes as the first for Zimbabwe at a women’s Junior World Cup.
Canadian captain Melanie Scholz said after the game:
‘I think it was a learning experience most of all. It took us till the third quarter to kick in, so that’s a big lesson, to start strong. We need to get hungry in the circle and just chasing that goal, I think that will help us a lot.’