U.S. women’s soccer advances to gold medal match, defeats Canada 4-3 in semis

The USA women’s soccer team loves to get themselves as close as they can to danger. Yet they always find a way to separate themselves from it in the end.

In their semifinal match against Canada, the U.S. was bailed out of an upset by an Alex Morgan header in the waning seconds of the second half of extra time, making the final score 4-3. A fitting end, since the USWNT literally won by the hairs on their heads.

Canada opened up with a Christine Sinclair goal in the 22nd minute, which made it the first time Canada has ever led the U.S. in nine years of facing each other. They carried the lead into the half until a beautiful goal by Megan Rapinoe, which bent in directly off of a corner kick in the 54th minute, tied the score at 1-1.

Sinclair was not done for the night, as she answered every goal that Rapinoe called back with, completing a hat trick with two more goals in the 67th and 73rd minute to counter Rapinoe’s brilliant strike in the 70th.

However, Abby Wambach scored what would be the tying goal at 3-3 in the 80th minute off of a penalty kick due to a Canada handball in their penalty box.
The two sides fought neck and neck throughout the very physical game, but Canada’s last-second slip-up allowing Morgan head room just yards from their goal made it 12 years since they last beat the Americans.

Now a tired U.S. team gets a chance at revenge and a gold medal Thursday against their nemesis Japan, who defeated them in the 2011 Women’s World Cup in a penalty shootout. Canada can now make something out of disappointment in the bronze medal match against France.