United States women defeat rivals Canada to enter Olympic final against WC winner Japan
It was a thriller by all definitions. United States has never been hung over football or soccer as it is more widely known in America, but when United States women’s football team lined up against archrivals Canada for an encounter to decide about gold and glory; the proceedings are expected to rock the world.
And it did!
Alex Morgan wasn’t even aware of what she had done. United States star forward Alex Morgan hadn’t realized she had produced one of the most spectacular and important goals in United States woman’s football history.
The match between United States and Canada was merely seconds away from penalties. Fate wanted the two neighboring teams to settle their differences with a shootout, but Alex Morgan was unaware of the script. The American heroine blazed past a Canadian defender to head Heather O’Reilly’s cross over goalkeeper Erin McLeod to give United States the goal they so badly wanted.
Hence, United States won 4-3 against Canada in extra time on Monday.
“I didn't even see it go in,” Alex Morgan said after the game. “I just try and be in the right position.”
The Canadians took a one-goal lead three times in the game. Their star player Christine Sinclair scored in 22nd, 67th and 73rd minute to give Canada the lead. However, the unyielding women from United States fought back each attack with their own.
Megan Rapinoe produced two equalizers for United States before Abby Wambach took a controversial penalty to send the game into extra time.
“We are unwilling to give up and that says a lot about who we are as a team, what our goals are,” Abby Wambach said. “Even when Canada scored their third goal there was something in me that knew that we had more, that we could give more. I know that this team has belief in itself, even when the going gets tough.”
The Canadian players accused the match referee of helping United States win the game.
“She actually giggled (when awarding the penalty) and said nothing,” Christine Sinclair said. “Classy! In an important match it's a disappointment that the referee had such an impact on it. We feel cheated.”
The women’s football final at the 2012 London Olympics resembles a rematch from last year’s World Cup final. The United States and Japan have qualified as finalist for the chance to win gold in the event. Japan won the World Cup last year following a 3-1 penalty shootout.
The Olympic women’s football final will take place at the Wembley Stadium on Thursday. It is interesting to note that United States have won three of their previous four gold medal matches.