Canada tops Sweden in unforgettable Olympic soccer gold medal shootout

Aug 6 2021, 7:48 am

The Canadian women’s national soccer team has won in the Olympic gold medal match against longtime foe Sweden in a penalty shootout.

Canada topped Sweden 3-2 on penalty kicks after the teams managed a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes.

Julia Grosso scored the winning kick for the Canadians in the sixth round of the shootout.

Goaltender Steph Labbe made a crucial stop to put Grosso in a position to win.

And just before the Labbe save, after Canada had missed three straight kicks in a row, it was Deanne Rose who tied up the shootout and send it to a sixth round.

Playing in Tokyo on a match that had been moved up 10 hours due to requests from both teams, Canada picked up their third straight women’s soccer Olympic medal.

The pivotal moment of the game came about 20 minutes into the second half, where a penalty was awarded after video review determined Canada’s Christine Sinclair was taken down inside the 18-yard-box.

And for the second straight game, it was Jessie Fleming scoring the penalty marker for Canada, in this case to make it 1-1.

Swedish forward Stina Blackstenius scored the opening goal of the match in the game’s 34th minute, with a well-placed strike past Canadian keeper Stephanie Labbe.

In what could be her final Olympic match, Sinclair was subbed off in the 85th minute for Jordyn Huitema.

The penalty shootout couldn’t have been a more fitting way for Canada to stand atop the podium.

Goal-scoring, particularly from open play, had been a problem for the Canadians throughout the tournament.

Despite advancing to the final, Canada scored just five goals in its five previous matches, and hadn’t scored a goal from open play since the team’s final group stage game against Great Britain.

Canada beat the US 1-0 on a late penalty kick in the semifinal, and advanced past Brazil in the quarterfinal via penalty shootout.

Meanwhile, the Swedes were trying to avenge a 2-1 loss to Germany in the 2016 Olympic gold medal match, where Blacksteinus also scored Sweden’s lone marker.

Sweden had previously knocked out Canada in the 2019 FIFA World Cup round of 16 with a 1-0 win, with, again, Blacksteinus scoring the only goal for her country.

More to come…

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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