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Game Day 5 - Canada's Northern Lights top the US Freedom

As the traditional USA vs Canada footy rivalry continued, the Canadian women came out trumps at Auburn yesterday, the Northern Lights defeating the USA Freedom by 18 points.

Canada came out of the blocks early and before anyone could speak of which team had looked stronger in the Women’s Division so far, the Freedom were already two goals down. And that’s when everyone remembered that the Northern Lights have a lot of experience of playing the USA Freedom, and the last time the two sides met, the Canadians beat them. Neither team resembled those from previous games. After that shock opening, there was an almighty battle up and down the field, but neither team was able to put any points on the board.

With the game still wide open, it could have gone either way in the second quarter. The Canadians tried to get an early start, but this time the Freedom defence was wide awake. But the Northern Lights were winning in midfield and the ball kept coming back down the Freedom throats. Then the Freedom somehow cleared the ball, and surging forwards, they smashed it through the midfield, but the Canadian defence refused to let their lead slip. They cleared the ball, but the Americans came back again. Determined to get a foot on the scoreboard they were relentless, but the Northern Lights somehow held them to one point.

The Northern Lights were again looking dangerous after the half time break. They got a chance after a free kick was awarded for a tackle after the Canadian had released the ball. After it dropped in for a scrabble in the goal square, it was soccered at the posts on a tight angle, but bounced through the behind posts. Finally the Freedom got a chance with a brilliant kick into the Northern Lights’ 50m zone, followed by a perfect mark. The kick veered wide in the windy conditions though, hitting the post. But the Freedom fought to keep the ball in the Canadian 50, and got their goal. On the scoreboard, now would have been the time for the Americans to respond, but it was the Northern Lights who dazzled, the ball going straight back the other end, straight between the posts.

The Freedom came out after the break fighting desperately to retain the ball but the possession was all Canada in the midfield. The Freedom defence were doing a fantastic job, clearing the ball effectively, but the Northern Lights were winning it back and looking dangerous. They kept pushing but the Freedom back line held firm. After they eventually conceded a touched behind, the Northern Lights jumped into the kick out and got their fourth goal. As the Canadians came in for more, the clock was ticking down and it all looked over for the Freedom.

The final siren went, and with it, any predictability for the Women’s Division finalists. The competition now goes down to the wire when the Women’s Division resumes next week in Melbourne.

Final Score: Canadian Northern Lights 4.5 (29) def USA Freedom 1.5 (11)

Canada: Smith, Lanigan, Ennor, Zmurchuk
USA: Geoghegan

Best Players
Canada: Zmurchuk, Loughnane, Nanka, Waldock, Wynne, Peterson
USA: Kraft, Geoghegan, Ohle, Church, Stein, Rosocha