England will feel unlucky to come away with a loss from a match in which they were on top for long periods against a good Canada side.
After losses to USA and Australia, this was a much-improved performance from England and showed signs of positivity for the side ahead of the Quarter-Finals tomorrow.
England got off to a bright start, moving the ball around at a good tempo, Olivia Hompe in particular proving a real livewire.
The England attacker completed an 18-minute hat-trick to put her side 3-1 up and on the front foot in front of a partisan crowd.
Laura Merrifield and Camilla Hayes dominated on the draw in the first period, keeping the previously prolific Dana Dobbie and Kay Morissette off the ball with Canada slow to get in to the game as England’s defence held solid.
However, the concentration lapsed in a costly 10-minute period at the end of the first half where Canada began to execute their plays and scored five unanswered goals to lead 6-3 at the half and cancel out England’s earlier supremacy.
England came flying out of the traps in the second-half, Hompe again from a FPS, and when Jenny Simpson produced a clever turn and shot under the goalie to make it 5-6, the comeback was well and truly on.
Canada began to become edgy and resorted to running down the clock, goalie Donohoe doing a job of drawing time out of the game. Dobbie and Bianca Chevarie also both received yellow cards as Canada looked for a way to relent the English pressure.
However, Canada’s big match players came to the fore, Dobbie and Gait, the former finished with a hat-trick for the game, delivered a sucker punch to lead 5-8 with 10:00 to go.
The last 10 minutes were all England, Merrifield pulling one goal back and in the final few minutes Hompe, Simpson and Sophie Brett all had opportunities to set up a grandstand finish but denied by a combination of post, crossbar and goalie they were unable to complete the comeback.
England (2-3) now finish 4th in the pool and will renew rivalries with Wales (1-4) in a grudge match Quarter-Final today at 6pm.
The QF match will be aired live on the BBC Sport Website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/40532252