Canada has stamped their ticket to the gold-medal match in Tokyo, defeating the United States 1-0 in the semifinal Monday. The victory was Canada’s first win against the USWNT in 20 years.
The first half of Monday’s semifinal was relatively quiet, with neither side creating a solid chance on goal in the game’s opening 45 minutes.
The most significant development of the first half came in the 20th minute when Alyssa Naeher went down, falling awkwardly on her leg after going up for a save. The USWNT goalkeeper — who saved three total penalty kicks in the team’s shootout win over Netherlands three days earlier — attempted to stay in the match, but an agonizing goal kick in the 30th minute made it clear Naeher could not continue.
Adrianna Franch subbed in for Naeher, playing her first minutes of the Tokyo Olympics.
In the best of hands 👊🧤 pic.twitter.com/dDYDuuicwt— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) August 2, 2021
In the best of hands 👊🧤 pic.twitter.com/dDYDuuicwt
The game’s stalemate was finally broken in the 75th minute, with Canada slotting home a penalty kick to go up 1-0 over the United States. Jessie Fleming converted from the line after VAR showed Tierna Davidson had committed a foul on Deanne Rose inside the box.
Canada converts the penalty to take the lead. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/r856yMXjIb— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 2, 2021
Canada converts the penalty to take the lead. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/r856yMXjIb
Fleming’s goal flattened any momentum the USWNT was beginning to build.
With a place in the final on the line, the U.S. mounted a final push in the game’s dwindling minutes but failed to put anything together in front of goal.
Next up: Canada will play the winner of the semifinal match between Sweden and Australia. The USWNT will play the loser of that game in Thursday’s bronze-medal matchup.