Lions in second Peace Cup stalemate
Thursday, 21 October, 2010
England held to 0-0 draw by New Zealand in South Korea.
by Glenn Lavery
The England Women's team drew 0-0 with New Zealand in the second group match of The Peace Cup.
Hope Powell made eight changes to the side that drew with South Korea on Monday and the Three Lions were the better side throughout, creating the clearer opportunities but they were unable to find the finish their play merited.
All three Group B games finished 0-0, meaning lots were drawn to see which nation progressed to Saturday's Final and it is the host nation who will now compete for The Peace Cup trophy.
England began the match in confident fashion, using the full width of the pitch and pinning New Zealand in their own half, and Alex Scott volleyed the first shot at goal early on from Eniola Aluko's corner.
Three accidental injuries midway through the first half disrupted the flow of the game and New Zealand soon grew into proceedings, forcing Karen Bardsley into the concession of a corner on 32 minutes, which ultimately came to nothing. However, England weathered the storm and came close to taking the lead when Laura Bassett fired narrowly wide just before the break.
After the restart, Aluko miscued her strike at goal from Rachel Unitt's corner before a mistake from Faye White let in Rosie White but Bardsley spared her skipper's blushes. The England 'keeper was called into action again just six minutes later when substitute Sarah Gregorius met Ria Percival's cross but Bardsley flung herself into air and repelled the strike.
Just after the 70 minute mark, a nasty looking injury to Dunia Susi delayed the game for quite a while and the right-back was replaced by forward Ellen White.
There were no further clear-cut chances for either side and the game finished goalless, England's second 0-0 draw in three days.