Canada beat USWNT 1-0 to reach Olympic final

Chris Smith
USA v Canada: Women's Football Semifinal - Olympics: Day 10
USA v Canada: Women's Football Semifinal - Olympics: Day 10 / Francois Nel/Getty Images

The United States lost 1-0 to Canada in their Olympics semi-final in Tokyo on Monday evening.

After a poor start that saw them lose goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher - the hero of their quarter-final penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands - inside 30 minutes, the USWNT were knocked out by a 74th-minute penalty kick from Canada's Jessie Fleming.

Neither side were able to get a real foothold in the match, with hot and humid conditions clearly affecting the players' ability to up the tempo and generate attacking openings.

But after being awarded the spot-kick by VAR as Tierna Davidson was adjudged to have brought down Deanne Rose in the area, Fleming powered an effort into stand-in goalkeeper Adrianna French's left corner, sparking wild celebrations from the Canadian players.

The U.S - who won gold medals at the 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games - pushed hard for an equaliser thereafter but were ultimately unable to turn their pressure into meaningful chances.

The defeat was the culmination of a series of underwhelming performances at this tournament from Vlatko Andonovski's side, who lost 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group match - their first defeat of Andonovski's reign - and only managed a 0-0 draw with Australia in game three.

While Canada haven't exactly been blowing teams away themselves, drawing with Great Britain and Japan in the group stage and needing penalties to beat Brazil in the quarter-finals, they carry far less expectation than their North American counterparts and have shown great defensive solidity during the knockout rounds.

The U.S will now contest a bronze medal match against the loser of the other semi-final between Australia and Sweden on Thursday. Canada will face the winner of that match in Friday's final in search of their first-ever gold medal having won bronze in 2012 and 2016.