Herdman targets home World Cup win

Canada women’s English born coach John Herdman celebrated clinching an Olympic bronze medal and then challenged his players to “set the bar higher” by winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in their own country.

A last gasp goal from midfielder Diana Matheson earned Canada a 1-0 win over France at the City of Coventry Stadium this afternoon. It helped to partially atone for the heart-breaking 4-3 semi-final defeat by United States, who face Japan in tonight’s final.

Herdman, a Newcastle United fan and native Geordie, said: “We have finished third in the world, it is a massive achievement but now the job is to stay there and go higher.

“The aim is to get closer to USA. We want to get to the World Cup final against USA in three years time and try and win it. Let’s set the bar high, let’s aim high and make sure 2015 is even more memorable than this.”

Herdman admitted: “France were the better side, they hit the bar and post, had a shot cleared off the line. But the girls would not give that medal away and that says so much about them and we took the one chance we had. By doing this, we’ve gone up to another level and it is up to us to stay there.”

Canada‘s record goalscorer, Christine Sinclair, paid tribute to the impact Herdman has had on her country during the past 12 months. She said: “I’ve been involved in many highs and lows down the years but nothing compares to this. John and his staff have done so much and have got us believing we can beat any team on any day.”

French coach Bruno Bini felt the score-line was an injustice after his side had dominated for long periods. He said: “Sometimes you can give everything and it is not enough. It is like a love story. You can give a lot and the other person still walks away.

“I feel like wanting to cry. We were completely better than Canada from the first to the last minute so what can I say?”