USWNT stunned by Canada in semifinals at Tokyo Olympics, will play for bronze medal

Written by on August 2, 2021

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KASHIMA, Japan — Canada received the very best of the U.S. ladies when it actually mattered.

The Canadians beat the USWNT for the primary time since 2001 on Monday, and solely fourth time in historical past, 1-Zero on a penalty kick by Jessie Fleming within the 75th minute. U.S. goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, pressed into service after Alyssa Naeher left within the 30th with a knee damage, guessed the proper facet however couldn’t make the cease.

Fleming sprinted towards her bench and slid on her knees as the remainder of the Canadians erupted in celebration.

The People had an opportunity to tie it within the 86th on a thunderous header from shut vary by Carli Lloyd. But it surely banged off the crossbar and the reigning World Cup champions couldn’t problem once more.

When the ultimate whistled sounded, Lloyd crouched on her knees and buried her head in her fingers because the Canadians celebrated.

“It was horrible. Not our greatest sport,” mentioned Megan Rapinoe. “Not our greatest event. We did not have it right this moment. Too many errors.”

Canada will play both Sweden or Australia for the gold medal Friday. The USWNT will play the opposite staff Thursday for the bronze medal.

“Now we’ve got to sit up for the bronze medal sport,” mentioned Alex Morgan. “I felt like a variety of the sport, we dominated possession. However we couldn’t put the ball at the back of the web.”

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Canada is the USWNT’s most frequent opponent, with Monday’s sport the 62nd between the neighbors. But it surely can’t actually be referred to as a rivalry, given its lopsidedness. The People had gained 51 of the earlier video games, Canada simply three.

Its final win got here again in 2001, when Lloyd was nonetheless a young person.

However the Canadians are a lot improved lately, they usually’ve been nursing a grudge for the reason that semifinal on the 2012 Olympics. The People gained within the dying seconds of additional time on a header by Alex Morgan, however the sport may not even have gotten to that time if not for some gamesmanship by Abby Wambach.

The People felt Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was holding the ball a second or two too lengthy in an effort to gradual the sport down, so Wambach began counting out loud to name referee Christiana Pedersen’s consideration to it. It labored. Within the 78th minute, McLeod was whistled for time losing after holding the ball for greater than the allowed six seconds; estimates had been it was wherever from eight to 11 seconds.

Megan Rapinoe’s free kick went off a Canadian participant’s arm for a handball, and Wambach transformed the penalty to tie the sport. 

The People had been dealt a blow within the 20th minute, when Naeher landed awkwardly on her proper knee after going up within the air for a ball. Trainers labored on her for a number of minutes, and she or he got here again into the sport after hopping on one leg to check her knee.

However she pulled up after a objective kick and signaled she wanted to depart. She was changed by Franch, who had made simply six earlier appearances for the USWNT.

“I knew it wasn’t good as a result of she doesn’t go down and keep down like that,” Lloyd mentioned. “She was making an attempt to be robust within the second, however as quickly as she kicked that ball you realize it wasn’t proper.”

Franch was probably not examined, and it seemed as if the People would possibly give her a cushion halfway by means of the second half with three pictures on objective in lower than 5 minutes. Lloyd one-timed a rocket that Labbe punched over the crossbar within the 65th.

Three minutes later, she was examined once more, this time on Julie Ertz’s header off a nook kick that Labbe punched over the bar. Shortly after, Lindsey Horan had a shot on a header, but it surely went proper into Labbe’s fingers.

However the People couldn’t join. The Canadians wanted only one break, they usually received it on Davidson’s penalty.

Thursday’s bronze medal sport could possibly be the final at a serious worldwide event for a number of of the People’ greatest names through the years, together with the 39-year-old Lloyd.

“That is my eighth event. They’ve all been totally different. They’ve all be totally different storylines. They’ve all began and completed in numerous style,” she mentioned. “Some have been fairly. Some have been ugly. Some we simply scrape by. This one we didn’t get by.”

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