Canada skipper Christine Sinclair squandered a golden opportunity to make Women’s World Cup history as Bev Priestman’s ladies drew 0-0 against Nigeria on Friday.
Despite boasting a significant dominance in terms of possession and scoring chances, Canada couldn’t break down Nigeria’s rock-solid defence in an underwhelming Group B curtain-raiser.
The 40-year-old captained the side at her sixth Women’s World Cup but failed to add to her record tally of 190 international goals thanks to Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Nnadozie pulled off a stunning save to deny the Portland Thorns forward from the spot five minutes into the second half, denying the veteran a piece of history.
Having scored in all five previous Women’s World Cup editions she appeared in, Sinclair lined up a landmark achievement at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t convert the penalty, which would’ve made her the first-ever player to score at six different final tournaments, eventually costing her team a flying group start.
Elsewhere, goals on either side of half-time helped Switzerland live up to the billing against Group A minnows Philippines, with Inka Gring’s side recording their first regulation-time triumph in eight outings.
Paris Saint-Germain ace Ramona Bachmann opened the scoring from the spot on the stroke of half-time to give her side a narrow lead at the break before Zurich midfielder Seraina Piubel put the game to bed midway through the second half.
Like Switzerland, odds-on Group C favourites Spain enjoyed a stellar start to their Women’s World Cup journey, sweeping Costa Rica aside with an overwhelming 3-0 victory.
All three goals came within the opening half an hour of play.
Valeria del Campo bagged an unfortunate own goal in the 21st minute to break the deadlock before Aitana Bonmati and Esther Gonzalez Rodriguez scored in quick succession.
One of the tournament’s best players, Jennifer Hermoso, wasted a penalty in the 34th minute, but Spain steamrolled to a comfortable win.
Tomorrow’s Women’s World Cup Fixtures
- United States v Vietnam
- Zambia v Japan
- England v Haiti
- Denmark v China