Almanac Olympics – Soccer: Gold medal settled on penalties as Canada wins and Trump fumes


The Olympic Games gold medal match between Sweden and Canada went to extra time and penalties before Canada triumphed.


Sweden dominated the first half and much of the second until Canada were awarded a penalty in the 67thminute, which Jessie Fleming converted. The nerveless midfielder had already scored from the spot in the previous match to prevent the United States from reaching the final.


From then on it was a see-sawing battle in midfield with chances also at both ends. The commentators thought both sides were trying to win the game, but the defences held out and some clear opportunities were spurned by tired players and nervous substitutes.


Canada’s Christine Sinclair, their talisman and longest serving player, was withdrawn after 86 minutes but continued to urge her team-mates on from the bench.


Earlier the Swedish opener was scored by Stina Blankstenius just after the half-hour when Kosovare Asllani found her with a through ball in front of goal.


I wonder if Sweden thought that would be enough as their defence has been sound throughout the tournament. If so, it was a miscalculation because half-way through the second half the Canadians began to press and won the penalty.


The shoot-out was a nervy affair as both keepers tried to pressurise weary kickers. After the first five kicks the teams were still level with three goals to two misses apiece. Perhaps that is unfair for Canada’s keeper Stephanie Labbe and Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl both saved spot kicks. Labbe’s save of Jonna Andersen’s first of the sudden death kicks proved crucial, allowing Julia Grosso to win the match for Canada with her well struck winner.


Brazil and Spain will contest the men’s gold medal tonight.


Meanwhile the egregious Donald Trump weighed in with some ill-judged and ignorant criticism of Megan Rapinoe who really gets under his skin.



More Olympic reports can be read HERE


More from Roy Hay HERE



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