#100MomentsIn100Days: USA v Canada



How can I put into words the most epic match in women's football Olympic history? Perhaps I should preface with the fact this history only spans 20 years and only 12 teams can play. In the case of the 2012, defending champions USA find themselves up against their rivals, CAN and one step closer to the final at Wembley stadium and a chance to avenge their 2011 World Cup F loss to JPN.

Old Trafford is the setting of this North American face off -- Canada seeks to end an 11 year drought without a win against USA. Both teams have dynamic scoring duos. Canada w/ Christine Sinclair + Melissa Tancredi USA w/ Abby Wambach + Alex Morgan Both Sinclair and Wambach are chasing Mia Hamm's scoring record of 158 goals. [4 years later, both have broken it.] The two have 282 goals together.

Even before this game started, there was a bit of tension as the Canadian head coach Herdman said, "some of the blocking tactics, which are highly illegal, we'll keep an eye on them in the game...obviously they're trying to free up key player, but in a very illegal way...the US, It's what they do well..." With this statement, there was a bit of shade thrown towards this US team.

The starting lineups. USA: Solo; LePeilbet, Rampone, Buehler, O'Hara; Rapinoe, Lloyd, Cheney, Heath; Morgan, Wambach CAN: McLeod; Wilkinson, Moscato, Sesselman, Nault; Matheson, Scott, Schmidt; Sinclair, Tancredi; Filigno

The match barely begins and already there is intense physicality as Tancredi knocks Cheney down giving the USA a free kick, which leads to another free kick as Morgan is fouled by Sinclair. You have to believe this level of aggression will not be the last.

Plenty of chances for USA at the start of this match as Hope Solo's first touch comes in the 9th minute but just to set the play to her backline. Finally Sinclair on a breakaway in the 12 minute and Buehler backtracks and manages to tackle it but force the corner but nothing really comes from it.

As both sides play back and forth, you have to wonder when USA will score. In the 20th minute, Canada earns a free kick, coming from a rather interesting call as Tancredi is able to make her battle with Rampone look like a legitimate foul. Solo directs her defense and there is a low drive from Matheson but it goes nowhere. Quite a bit of shirt-tugging from Canada. "Highly Illegal"

22' GOAL SINCLAIR. Canada steals the ball and gets it straight to Sinclair's feet who then quickly switches directions, wrong-footing O'Hara and finding herself 1 on 1 with Solo. She clincially slots the ball past Solo for the goal. Sinclair runs away with the calm airplane celebration and this is Sinclair's first goal against USA since 2008 Olympics!

26' Since the goal, the USA seems a bit more frantic and Canada is building confidence as Sophie Schmidt heads a ball straight into the hands of Solo.

30' WHAT A CHANCE. Beautiful ball from Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan's header is JUST wide. Morgan frustrated - reasonable to as she has not scored since the opening group game against France.