Canada stunned world champions the United States on Monday, handing them a shock 1-0 defeat in the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic football tournament to set up a clash with Sweden in Friday’s showpiece match.
The Swedes beat Australia 1-0 thanks to a 46th-minute goal from Fridolina Rolfo to return to the final after their silver medal in Rio five years ago.
Canada celebrated their first win over the U.S. in over 20 years after Jessie Fleming’s 75th minute penalty settled the contest.
The crucial moment, in a game which had produced little incident, came when U.S. defender Tierna Davidson challenged Deanne Rose on the edge of the penalty area. After a video review, a spot kick was awarded.
Canada‘s veteran striker Christian Sinclair initially had the ball in her hands, but Fleming took the responsibility and kept her cool to slot home.
The U.S, pre-Games favourites for the gold medal, went close to an equaliser when Carli Lloyd struck the bar with a header but Canada held on for a famous victory – and their first appearance in an Olympic final.
The Americans have won the gold medal four times and have not lost to Canada for over 20 years. It is only the fourth time the Canadians have beaten their neighbours in 62 meetings.
“It has been a long time coming to beat those guys,” said Fleming. “We want to come away with gold now but it is really special for us to put our flag on the map,” she said.
The game was a dull affair until a triple substitution saw Megan Rapinoe, Lloyd and Christen Press brought on — a change which brought new life to the American attack.
The first effort on goal finally arrived in the 65th minute with a curling shot from Lloyd which was tipped over by Stephanie Labbe, and moments later the Canada keeper did well to keep out a glancing header from Julie Ertz.
But just as the Americans were piling on the pressure, a Canada break led to the penalty award and the end of the road for Vlatko Andonovski’s side.
“It sucks. Obviously you never want to lose, you never want to lose in a world championship, you never want to lose to Canada, obviously, and you never want to lose playing the way we did,” said Rapinoe.
Sweden, who lost to Germany in the Rio final, fired an early warning with a Rolfo shot rattling the crossbar.
Australia, seeking a first Olympic final, thought they had gone ahead just before the break with a Sam Kerr effort but the goal was ruled out for a foul.
It was the Swedes who took the lead when Matilda’s keeper Teagan Micah could only push a looping, deflected shot from Filippa Angeldal against the bar and Rolfo hooked in the loose ball.
Australia were reduced to 10 players in stoppage time when Ellie Carpenter was sent off for pulling down Sweden substitute Lina Hurtig as she ran goalwards.
“It is amazing, I am so happy,” said Angeldal, “I think we learnt a lot from this game, we worked so hard as a team and we will have to bring that to the final.”
“It feels like I am in paradise. I love to play with this team, we have a great team spirit,” she added.
Kerr said she was disappointed with the ruling out of her goal.
“Obviously, we are disappointed because we wanted to be in the gold medal match but at the end of the day, we have got a game against the U.S and the bronze medal is at stake,” she said.
The bronze medal game will be held in Kashima on Thursday with the gold medal match at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Friday.
The men’s semi-finals will be held on Tuesday with Mexico taking on Brazil and Japan up against Spain.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Pritha Sarkar/Hugh Lawson/Ken Ferris/Ed Osmond)
Ticats list Watford as starting QB vs. Stampeders – TSN
David Watford has been listed as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats starting quarterback for Friday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders.
The move comes after Watford took the majority of snaps in practice this week with Jeremiah Masoli limited due to a rib injury. Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer told said Thursday the decision would be based on how Masoli was feeling.
Watford has completed six passes this season for 78 yards.
Masoli opened the season as the team’s starting quarterback, but was replaced by Dane Evans. Evans was ruled out for four-to-six weeks with an Oblique injury on Monday.
Masoli, 33, has completed 41 of 66 passes this season for 371 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.
The Tiger-Cats will be looking to get back to .500 with a win Friday against the Stampeders (2-4).
AC Leonard receives an additional one-game suspension; six players fined – CFL.ca
TORONTO — The Canadian Football League announced the following on Thursday:
Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman A.C. Leonard has been suspended for one additional game due to a verbal abuse and unacceptable behaviour towards the doping control officers. Leonard was previously suspended for two games for failing to provide a sample for drug testing.
Fines from Week 6:
- Saskatchewan Roughriders safety Mike Edem was fined for a tourist hit on Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Nic Demski.
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris was fined for grabbing Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Christian Campbell’s facemask in a reckless and unsafe manner.
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais was fined for his involvement in instigating the altercation between the two teams.
- Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman Justin Lawrence was fined for a chop-block on Edmonton Elks defensive lineman Jake Ceresna.
- Edmonton Elks linebacker Nyles Morgan was fined for kicking Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman Bryce Bell.
An additional fine from Week 5:
- Toronto Argonauts defensive back Shaquille Richardson was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct in the Labour Day Classic against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
As per league policy, the amounts of the player fines were not disclosed.
Hopkins converts second chance to give Washington wild win over Giants – Sportsnet.ca
LANDOVER, Md. — Taylor Heinicke and Dustin Hopkins made the most of their second chances.
Washington needed every last second — and then some — to earn a long-awaited win over the New York Giants.
Hopkins made a 43-yard field goal on an untimed down — after a penalty negated his miss seconds earlier — and Washington beat New York 30-29 on Thursday night, snapping a five-game win streak for the Giants in the series.
It also gave Heinicke another moment in the sun after he cost Washington dearly with a late interception. The 28-year-old quarterback was making his second career start in the regular season and first since 2018 with Carolina. He became a bit of a sensation when Washington had to use him in last season’s playoffs against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, but his team lost that game.
“It’s amazing,” Heinicke said. “The first start was what, two or three years ago in Carolina? Threw three picks, tore my tricep, it was just a brutal thing — and that was my last start until last year (against) Tampa. Come in to Tampa last year, had a good game, but ultimately fell up short. And finally get that first win.”
Heinicke, playing because of an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick, threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns.
His interception set up Graham Gano’s fifth field goal of the game, which gave the Giants a 29-27 lead with 2:00 remaining. Heinicke then guided Washington back into field goal range.
“He does have the ability to throw the ball and make all the throws. We’ve seen that,” coach Ron Rivera said. “And he’s got a lot of confidence.”
Hopkins missed his first attempt to win the game, but he was given a reprieve when Dexter Lawrence was flagged for being offside. His next attempt was good, giving Washington (1-1) a wild victory.
“Somebody out there check on my mother,” Hopkins said. “She’s probably had a heart attack.”
Daniel Jones threw for 249 yards and a touchdown for the Giants (0-2). He also ran for 95 yards and a TD.
For most of the night, it was Washington’s highly touted defense that wasn’t pulling its weight. New York scored on its first four possessions of the second half, but after the Giants went up 26-20, Heinicke needed just 17 seconds to put Washington ahead.
J.D. McKissic slipped downfield for a 56-yard reception, and then Ricky Seals-Jones outjumped Adoree’ Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard TD that put Washington up 27-26.
The Giants had to punt after that, but as Washington was trying to run out the clock, James Bradberry picked off a pass by Heinicke, giving the Giants the ball at the Washington 20.
Washington’s defense forced a field goal, giving Heinicke another chance. Then the penalty on Lawrence gave Hopkins his extra opportunity.
“It’s going to be a tough lesson,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “I’m not going to put this on Dexter.”
After struggling to stop Justin Herbert and the Chargers last weekend, Washington’s defense had its problems again at the start of this game. New York went 79 yards in 11 plays the first time it had the ball, taking a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by Jones.
After Washington tied it on Heinicke’s 11-yard scoring pass to Terry McLaurin, Jones broke free for what initially looked like a 58-yard touchdown run. That play was shortened by a holding penalty, however, and the Giants settled for a field goal.
Washington took a 14-10 lead on a 2-yard TD run by McKissic in the final minute of the half.
Jones found Darius Slayton for a 33-yard TD in the third quarter that put New York ahead 20-14.
Washington’s biggest defensive breakdown wasn’t punished. With the Giants up 23-20 in the fourth quarter, Slayton was all alone behind the defense, but the pass bounced off his outstretched hands.
That play — and the penalties on the final field goal and the long run by Jones — will likely haunt the Giants during their long break before the next game.
“It’s a pretty tough one. You give it your all and fight and it comes down the tail end,” Giants receiver Sterling Shepard said. “See that first one miss and you see those flags it’s not a fun feeling at all.”
The Giants had 11 penalties for 81 yards. Washington had nine for 80 — and some of those were costly, too.
Gano has now made 35 consecutive field goals, the longest active streak in the NFL. His five field goals Thursday included kicks from 47, 52 and 55 yards.
Giants: OL Nick Gates was carted off with a broken leg in the first quarter. Gates, normally a center, played guard Thursday after New York put Shane Lemieux on injured reserve.
Washington’s defense forced a field goal, giving Heinicke another chance. Then the penalty on Lawrence gave Hopkins his second chance.
Washington: DT Matt Ioannidis left in the first half with a knee injury but returned to the game.
Giants: New York returns home to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 26.
Washington: Two straight road games await Washington, with the first coming Sept. 26 against the Buffalo Bills.
Ticats list Watford as starting QB vs. Stampeders – TSN
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