Kiss overshadowed by Sinclair

Canada's Christine Sinclair, (12) reacts after scoring the first goal against Ghana during a Group...

Canada's Christine Sinclair, (12) reacts after scoring the first goal against Ghana during a Group C match for the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament in Hangzhou, eastern China's Zhejiang province, Saturday, Sept 15, 2007. Other Canadian players are Katie Thorlakson, 16, Sophie Schmidt, 19 and Diana Matheson, 8.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 2:50 PM ET

CHENGDU, China – Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang get all the glory but Kristina Kiss has played a part in every story.

Only five girls have played in all eight FIFA Women’s World Cup games under coach Even Pellerud and the Ottawa native is one of them going into the final game of Group C here Wednesday against Australia in a game in which the Aussies need but a tie to go through to the quarter-finals and the Canadians must win.

Kiss, due to a lack of speed going against two Australian strikers coach Even Pellerud calls the fastest he’s ever seen in women’s soccer, is going to have a very difficult decision to make when it comes to starting the defender going into this game.

If she’s going to miss one, it might be this one.

Pellerud said Kiss has become a very important player for his team.

That certainly showed in Canada’s 4-0 win over Ghana in Hangzhou when she sent two corner kicks to the box which were converted to goals.

“One of the reasons I need her on the team is that she makes the long pass to Sinclair,” he added of getting service to his star striker who scored two goals, her fourth and fifth in World Cup play, in the win.

“She has soccer smarts. She understands the game very well. She’s not very fast but she has a soccer brain.”

Kiss said she had no idea it’s getting to be a very short list of the players who have been in all the games under Pellerud.

“It surprises me, actually,” said the 26-year-old who would play her 70th international if she gets the call in this one.

She played her first game for the senior squad as a 19-year-old in 2000.

She gets everything going on the throw-ins and corner kicks.

“I’ve been a set piece player pretty much the whole time on the team,” she said.

And she loves trying to get the ball to Sinclair.

“She’s such a great target because even if I’m a little out, she gets there, controls it and finishes it,” said Kiss.

She played 77 minutes in the same game four years ago when Canada beat Japan 3-1 to advance to the quarter- finals.

“It’s almost exactly the same game,” she said.

“We realized that would probably happen after we lost to Norway.”


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