Tokyo – The United States Women’s National Soccer Team lost to the Canadians 1-0 this morning in Tokyo and have been eliminated from a shot at a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. It is the first time the Canadians beat the US since 2001 and only the fourth time in history.
The difference in the match was a penalty kick by Jessie Fleming in the 75th minute. U.S. goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, pressed into service after Alyssa Naeher left in the 30th with a knee injury, guessed the right side but couldn’t make the stop.
The Americans had a chance to tie it in the 86th on a thunderous header from close range by Carli Lloyd. But it banged off the crossbar. That turned out to be their final challenge of the match.
“It was terrible. Not our best game,” said Megan Rapinoe. “Not our best tournament. We didn’t have it today. Too many errors.”
“Now we have to look ahead to the bronze medal game,” said Alex Morgan. “I felt like a lot of the game, we dominated possession. But we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.”
Canada will play either Sweden or Australia for the gold medal Friday. The US will play one of those team to comete for the bronze medal on Thursday.
The Americans were dealt a blow in the 20th minute, when Naeher landed awkwardly on her right knee after going up in the air for a ball. Trainers worked on her for several minutes, and she came back into the game after hopping on one leg to test her knee.
But she pulled up after a goal kick and signaled she needed to leave. She was replaced by Franch, who had made just six previous appearances for the USWNT.
“I knew it wasn’t good because she doesn’t go down and stay down like that,” Lloyd said. “She was trying to be tough in the moment, but as soon as she kicked that ball you know it wasn’t right.”
Lloyd one-timed a rocket that Labbe punched over the crossbar in the 65th.
Three minutes later, she was tested again, this time on Julie Ertz’s header off a corner kick that Labbe punched over the bar. Shortly after, Lindsey Horan had a shot on a header, but it went right into Labbe’s hands.
But the Americans couldn’t connect. The Canadians needed just one break, and they got it on Davidson’s penalty.