AN ODE TO KEEPERS

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This Women’s World Cup has seen some absolutely unreal goalkeeping performances. They can be the most underrated players on the park, yet be the ones who save the day when called upon. 

While there is background murmuring over silly things such as making the goal post smaller, we’ve got goalkeepers doing their talking on the field. They’re absolutely slaying it. It would be worth giving a shout out to each and every keeper in the tournament. However here’s a pick of six who have stood out from the pack so far.

 

THE KIDS

Chiamaka Nnadozie – Nigeria

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It’s always a dicey move to change goalkeepers during a tournament. Particularly when you’re replacing African Cup of Nations Golden Glove Tochukwu Oluehi whose penalty heroics brought the side to the tournament. But Chiamaka Nnadozie killed it. Becoming the youngest player to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup, she marshelled her defence and had a safe set of gloves to deny South Korea from scoring.

 

Sydney Schneider – Jamaica

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Another youngster setting the standard at this tournament. Don’t let the score lines against Jamaica fool you, Sydney Schneider has pulled out some stunning performances. Saving a penalty against Brazil to then be denied the opportunity to back that up thanks to VAR against Italy. Above that, her ability to pull out saves coming in low, with a reach that can see her go from one post to the other in moments.

 

THE VETERANS

Christiane Endler – Chile

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Captain my captain. Endler is in the traditional vein of a captain goalkeeper. She marshals her defence naturally, pulls out stunning saves and is the rock of the side. Against Sweden it was a matter of “the Swedes send in another cross.. Endler collects”. Anything up high, Endler has comfortably. It takes something special to beat Endler, just ask Christen Press and the player of the match trophy she received after that match. The Chilean’s reflexes were the key reason denying the USA from extending their lead in the second half. Absolutely beautiful to see. Endler is a huge reason Chile reached the World Cup and continues to be the heart and soul of the side.

 

Erin Nayler – New Zealand

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In a side who soak up pressure, a strong goalkeeper is essential. New Zealand have that in Nayler. An experienced campaigner, at her second World Cup, her highlight reel is full of jaw dropping saves, denying the ball from reaching the cobwebs of the goal. While New Zealand haven’t had the luck of the green this time round, Nayler has been essential to keeping her side within touching distance in each match so far.

 

Carly Telford – England

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Being a goalkeeper doesn’t always mean seeing lots of time on the pitch. Instead it can mean years and years at second string. Particularly in the international setting. Carly Telford is case and point. Four major tournaments, no time on the field. Finally, the 31 year old had her opportunity to shine on the international stage. While her touches were few on the park, the commitment shown by Telford to reach her first appearance on this stage is massive.

 

THE COMEBACK QUEEN

Vanina Correa – Argentina

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Retiring from international football after 2011, becoming a mother of twins during said retirement to then be enticed to play once more for Argentina, to go on and pull out insane performances on the biggest of stages. Pre-tournament the jury was out and it wasn’t looking encouraging for Argentina. However, back to back performances against some of the tournament favourites in Japan and England, has changed the tune for this side. At the heart of that? Correa. Pulling out breathtaking saves, organising her defence and being a brick wall in general. A goalkeeper getting a player of the match trophy is special, that’s the type of performance she had against England. She has defied expectations to really announce Argentina as an up and comer on the national stage.

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