Olympics: Team USA defeats Canada in a hard fought match in Womens' Soccer
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Olympics: Team USA defeats Canada in a hard fought match in Womens' Soccer

Manchester : United Kingdom | Aug 06, 2012 at 2:31 PM PDT
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The first twenty minutes of the match saw the U.S. dominate, although there were very few chances on either side. The Canadian women didn't do a lot of short passing in the midfield and gave up possession to the U.S. way too often. A long pass into the box by Tancredi found Christine Sinclair, who made no mistake and sank the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Canada's game plan changed significantly after Sinclair's goal, by controlling the play in the midfield and maintaining possession. The US women tried their luck with long passes trying to find Morgan, who had a couple of close calls, which were either stopped by Canada's keeper, McLeod or went just wide of the net. Cheney and Wambach also had several attempts of goal go off target. Canada's efforts paid off and assured that the 1-0 lead was taken into halftime.

Both teams returned for the second half unchanged.

The US team bombarded the Canadian end right from the start of the second half. The constant pressure finally paid off in the 55th minute, on a Rapinoe corner kick. With no defenders on the near post, Rapinoes corner circles its way into the net for the equalizer. The first ten minutes of the second half made it clear that the Canadian could not let their guard down.

While the US had the better part of the second half to the three quarter mark of the game, Kyle came on the field for Filigno. The change paid off and just a few seconds later a pass, in the 66th minute, from the left side found Christine Sinclair who headed the ball into the net for a Canadian 2-1 lead. Not to be outdone, just three minutes later, in the 69th minute, Rapinoe received a pass just outside the box, took her time and buried the ball in the right side of the net for the equalizer.

The heavens opened for goal scoring. In the 72nd minute Christine Sinclair, completed her hattrick, scoring her third of the night, again putting Canada ahead 3-2.

A controversial free kick after McLeod had released the ball near the 16 meter mark, resulted in two Canadian players being struck in the arms,by the subsequent free kick executed by Rapinoe. Nault's hand was struck by the ball and the referee pointed immediately to the penalty spot. The penalty shot was easily converted by Wambach, in the 80th minute, again equalizing the match.

After 90 minutes the game was tied, resulting in 30 minutes extra time to settle the score. The first half of extra time saw many anxious moments on both sides. Although extra time started slowly, it became a nailbiter for spectators. The first half of extra time ended still tied at 3-3.

After a hard fought second half, where Wombach hit the crossbar in the second half of extra time, it took until stoppage time for Morgan to bring the US into the lead for the first time in the game. While it was a devastating loss for the 7th seated Canadian team, the Canadian women made their country proud. In the end, unfortunately it wasn`t enough. The number one seated team in the world took until the very end of extra time to put themselves into the final. Team USA will meet Japan in the final on August 9th, while Team Canada will be challenging for a bronze medal against France.

Line Up:

Canada: McLeod, Moscato, Wilkinson, Matheson, Sesselmann, Scott, Sinclair, Schmidt, Tancredi, Filigno (Kyle 66th), Nault (Stewart 101st)

USA: Solo, Rampone, O'Hara, Lepeilbet (Leroux 76th), Lloyd, Cheney (O`Reilly 101st), Morgan, Wambach, Rapinoe, Buehler (Sauerbrunn 110th), Heath

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Canada vs USA in Women`s Olympic Semi-Final
Tancredi and Wambach battle during the US 4:3 win
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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