TORONTO, Canada—Nine years after dropping a heartbreaking game to the Americans in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic Games, Canada have their revenge.
The Canadian women’s national team have made history at Tokyo 2020, knocking off USA in the semifinal Monday morning to advance to their first ever Gold Medal match at an Olympic games.
“All credit to the players, they left everything out there. It meant so much to them to get to this Final. I think you saw that in the shift that they’ve put in,” said Head Coach Bev Priestman in a press release. “There’s some veterans on this team that still feel that hurt from London 2012. I’m over the moon for that group of players to get that, and someone like Christine now gets to go to an Olympic Final, they’ve done so much for the program. For us, we were clear, we wanted to change the colour of the medal. Winners win and we’re going into that final to get a Gold Medal. “
While the match remained scoreless for the majority of the match, a VAR check in the 74th minute would eventually reward Canada a penalty after Deanne Rose was taken down in the box by an American defender — an incident that really came out of nothing and certainly against the run of play.
All eyes were on Christine Sinclair to take the penalty, but the all-time leading scorer picked up the ball and handed it to Chelsea FC youngster Jessie Fleming, who — as cool as you can get — stepped up to the spot and made no mistake, slotting home to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
The U.S. would hit the crossbar late, via an effort from Carli Lloyd, but Les Rogues would hold on for the historic victory. The win was Canada’s first over the Americans in 20 years.
“Our goal heading here was to change the colour of the medal after back-to-back Bronze Medals. What a performance, what a fight, I’m just so proud of our team, and one more to go,” said Captain Christine Sinclair. “For those of us who were part of 2012, it was nice to get a little revenge in an Olympic Semi-finals. This is a very unique and special group, one I’m very proud to be part of, we fight for everything. Job one is done for us, changing the colour of the medal, but now that we’re in the Final, we go for it. This tournament is grueling, that’s why I’m proud that we have 22 players strong that can step on the field and make a difference and they have this tournament.”
“This is my first win ever against the USA and what a perfect time to win against them,” added Kadeisha Buchanan. “We got the win and we got the goal. The job’s not done for us.”
Canada, back-to-back bronze medalists at the Olympics, will take on the winner of Sweden and Australia for a Gold Medal on Thursday evening. By reaching the Final, Canada will become just the third nation to win medals at three successive Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, joining USA (1996 to 2012) and Germany (2000 to 2008).
The colour of the medal has been changed.