Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 on penalties in the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Championship to become the Olympic champion, heading to the first gold medal in history after a 1-1 draw in the 120-minute match at Yokohama this Friday.
The Swedes, who lost in the Rio-2016 final against Germany, scored on a goal by Stina Blackstenius (34) after Kosovare Aslani swerved to the right. Chelsea midfielder Jesse Fleming scored for Canada in Belty (67) before the penalty shootout.
By that definition, for Canada he replaced Fleming, Dean Rose, Julia Grosso, while they stopped Ashley Lawrence and Adriana Leone, while Vanessa Gilles failed. But the Scandinavians were very erratic: only Natalie Bjorn and Olivia Shock scored and Aslani and captain Carolyn Seker – who managed to score the title goal – missed Anna Unvecord and Jonah Anderson.
After the London-2012 and Rio-2016 bronzes, Canadians led by senior Christine Sinclair topped the Olympic podium.
In Canada, Queen, a midfielder, was the first transgender athlete to hang an Olympic medal in sporting history.
The Swedes, ranked fifth in the world, won gold with clear chances and a penalty missed by Seker, with five consecutive wins showing a more consistent path to the final: the United States beat Australia 4-2 in a 3-0 group stage and New Zealand 2-0, then Japan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Australia won the semi-final 1-0.
Instead, Canadians had a more reluctant tendency. He finished second in his zone, beating Japan and Great Britain 1-1 and Chile 2-1. In the quarterfinals, they beat Brazil 4-3 on penalties after 0-0, and then in the semifinals they beat the United States (1-0), breaking all odds.
-Sweden misses some golden opportunities-
Under the leadership of 36-year-old Scandinavian captain Seker, managing the center and rhythm of the game with its delivery, Sweden were high in the first 45 minutes, beating the rival and using that speed to take advantage of the precision game defined by the right hand from the heart of the Blackstenius area.
In the second half, the Canadians went in search of the tie but without much thought, defender Amanda Ilestet swallowed it until she caught a center Sinclair from the left. The penalty was marked after being confirmed by VAR and Fleming converted it into a goal with the right hand of the goalkeeper, who flew to the other post.
Moments later, Fleming deflected himself over the crossbar with his right hand (69). That warning raised Sweden, which regained control of the match.
Fridolina Rolfo deflected a shot from close range that could have broken the balance in the final part of the game, although when Lina Hardick was free, Canada’s defense rejected him.
Already in extra time the game lived with great tension and all the players looked exhausted, they gave themselves the ball and made many unavoidable mistakes.
A hurting title raised the Scandinavian bench, but it was immense, with ten fines imposed. When the game was dead, again the Swedish forward missed the target from an unbeaten position in the heart of the small area.
Among the fines, Sweden paid heavily for the lack of a goal. Canada won the big prize for not putting their hands up in the entire tournament.
(FIN) AFP / JSO
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