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Canada Beat World Champions US Women 1-0 In Olympics Semi-Final


August 02, (THEWILL) – While America celebrated their men winning the Gold Cup Video Assistant Referee (VAR) came to play in the semi-final between their female side and Canada at the women’s football event of the Tokyo Olympics to give the Canadians a penalty that ended America’s hopes of Olympic gold.

Having been unable to get the better of their American counterparts in a football match since 2001, Canada picked the best time early on Monday to get only their fourth victory against the USWNT through Jessie Fleming’s 75th minute penalty.

Unfortunately for the FIFA world cup champions, their specialist penalty-stopping goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher, who halted a free-scoring Netherlands side by stopping a penalty in extra time and two penalty kicks during the ensuring shootouts, had been replaced by Adrianna Franch.

Although the 30-year-old was able to correctly guess where the ball was headed and even if she dived in good time to follow the kick, she was not able to stop it from going in, leaving her side with less than a quarter of an hour to either level the scores or settle for the losers’ final of third place.

But the Canadians could smell victory immediately the goal went in. Fleming raced toward her bench and slid on her knees as teammates and support staff piled on in celebration together with Canadians all over, who were following the tense game as it played on.

A golden opportunity came the way of the USWNT with the chance of a leveller in the 86th minute. Veteran midfielder Carli Lloyd hammered a thunderous header from close range only to disappointingly watch it come off the woodwork for what became their final goal attempt highlight of the semi-finals.

At the final whistle, amongst similar reactions across the USWNT side on the pitch and in the dugout, the cameras zoomed to a forlorn Lloyd crouching on her knees with her head buried in her hands contrasted against the wild celebrations of the Canadians.

It was their fourth victory over their more illustrious neighbours in 62 matches and it was a ironic that it was at their hands that the American journey in the female football event ended via VAR.

Canada will wait to see which of either Sweden or Australia will meet them at the gold medal match in Friday’s final. The USWNT, who can no longer attempt to be the first to follow a world cup win with an Olympic gold, will have to seek a bronze finish as consolation against the other team on Thursday.