Olympics Soccer

The game in question is the teams’ meeting in the 2012 Olympic semifinals in London, a rollicking 4-3 American victory that, from a United States perspective, stands even today as a signature moment of grit and perseverance. Canadians describe that game — a match they led three separate times — with a different vocabulary. “Robbed” is the most common term. Others are unprintable here.

“We feel like it was taken from us,” the Canadian captain Christine Sinclair said after the game. “We feel cheated.”

Sinclair, Canada’s greatest player, will have felt more aggrieved than most. She scored three times that day in Manchester, England, only to watch the Americans respond each time and then walk off with a last-minute winner by Alex Morgan.

The Canadians have been seething ever since, driven by some dubious refereeing that had led to the tying goal, and a persistent second-class status in the rivalry that, from a Canadian perspective, should have ended that day.

The Americans went on to win the gold in London, and Canada won the bronze, a feat it repeated in Rio. Now it has a chance, again, to rewrite that day in 2012. It has already closed the gap: More than half of the meetings since 2011 have been ties or one-goal American wins.

“In 2012, we were kind of on a hope and on a prayer,” Canada’s Desiree Scott said Sunday. “We were hoping we could get to that match, but now we truly believe in ourselves and what we can do on a soccer pitch, and we believe we can get to that gold medal game.”

The United States will not need to be reminded about that day in 2012. Five Americans — Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Kelley O’Hara, Tobin Heath an Megan Rapinoe — played in it, and every member of the squad knows the danger that Sinclair, a fixture of the National Women’s Soccer League, brings to every match.

“This is probably going to be our hardest game: We know that, and we are preparing for it that way,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said Sunday. “It’s a semifinal — it’s four of the best teams in the world.”

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/08/02/sports/us-canada-soccer-olympics

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