August 2, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) -The World Cup-winning United States fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat to Canada in the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic football tournament on Monday, with Jessie Fleming grabbing the winner with a 75th minute penalty.

In the gold medal match, Canada will face the winner of the other semi-final between Australia and Sweden which is being played later on Monday.

The crucial moment, in a game which had produced little incident, came when Tierna Davidson challenged Deanne Rose on the edge of the penalty area. After a video review, a penalty 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 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 ever appearance in the Olympic final.

The Americans have won the Olympic women’s football tournament four times and have not been beaten by Canada for over 20 years.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Hugh Lawson)