Canadian women’s football team believes they got “robbed” and “cheated” by Americans
The heat between Canadian and American women’s football team continues to rise following United States 4-3 victory in Monday’s semifinal game at the 2012 London Olympics. The Canadians believes they got “robbed” by United States, “cheated” throughout the game.
Canadian coach John Herdman believes his team played recorded exceptional form against United States, who only won because of favor from the referee. During the second-half of the game against United States, Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was accused of holding the ball for longer than the allowed six seconds. As a result, United States were awarded an indirect free kick insider the penalty area.
United States midfielder Megan Rapinoe took the free kick which resulted in another controversial decision. The free kick was followed by appeals of handball by United States players who claimed that the ball had struck Canadian Lauren Sesselmann’s arm. The referee took no time in awarding United States with a penalty, which Abby Wambach converted into a goal to bring the score line to 3-3.
Erin McLeod criticized the referee whilst explaining that a goalkeeper receives a warning before a foul was awarded to the opposite team. Moreover, such decisions are extremely rare in big football tournaments.
“We feel like we got robbed in this game,” Erin McLeod said. “The referee said I had the ball for ten seconds. She obviously counted the time I was on the ground with the ball. Once I got to my feet I calculate I only had the ball for five seconds.”
“We feel like we didn't lose,” Canadian team captain Christine Sinclair added. “We feel like it was taken from us. It's a shame in a game like that, which is so important, that the ref had such an impact on it. We feel cheated.”
Canadian coach John Herdman labelled the referee’s decision “bizarre”. He also accused United States of making illegal contact with opponents during its set plays.
“I've never seen a decision like that given,” John Herdman said. “An indirect free kick without a real warning or a yellow card, just a bit random. And then a handball when something just gets blasted at you. Sometimes that's the way it is. You make your own luck.”
Abby Wambach believes the referee’s decision was absolutely fair. Wambach told reporters that Erin McLeod was warned for holding the ball too long earlier in the match.
“There was a few other times throughout the game that she held it for 18 seconds, 10 seconds,” Abby Wambach said. “And the referee had warned her before to play quicker. It's the referee's call. I feel like you can't blame something on the referee.
“We feel good about the way that we won tonight.”