Women’s Olympic football: Canada beat USA to reach final

Canada reached the final of the Olympic women’s football tournament at Tokyo 2020 with a 1-0 victory over world champions the United States at the Kashima Stadium.

Jessie Fleming scored the winner from the penalty spot after substitute Deanne Rose was fouled by Tierna Davidson inside the box.

The USA have failed to reach the final for the second successive Games.

The Canucks will now face Australia or Sweden in Friday’s gold medal match.

Having been favourites to win the tournament, Vlatko Andonovski’s US side will battle for bronze on Thursday against the loser of the second semi-final.

Beverly Priestman’s side are guaranteed at least silver in Tokyo, meaning midfielder Quinn is the first openly transgender athlete to win an Olympic medal. Canada and Quinn won bronze in Rio 2016 before Quinn came out in September 2020.

Canada scored with their only shot on target to beat their neighbours for the first time since March 2001.

Davidson’s foul on Rose was initially missed by referee Kateryna Monzul, but the Ukrainian pointed to the pot after the video assistant referee (VAR) showed the Canadian was kicked as they both challenged for a loose ball.

Substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch guessed the right way, but Fleming found the bottom corner for the 75th-minute winner.

Franch had replaced US first-choice Alyssa Naeher in just the 30th minute after the hero of their quarter-final penalty shootout win over the Netherlands had landed awkwardly following a challenge by Nichelle Prince.

The US dominated possession in the second half and had six shots on target, but couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Forward Megan Rapinoe, 36, said: “It sucks. We just didn’t have it today. Just too many errors from us again. Obviously we never want to lose to Canada, I don’t think I’ve ever lost Canada. So it’s a bitter one.

“I’ve been thinking about the whole tournament and we just didn’t have that juice that we normally do.”

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