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A Border Classic: In Overtime, U.S. Women's Soccer Defeats Canada

United States' Megan Rapinoe, right, celebrates with teammate Alex Morgan as Tobin Heath slides in on her knees after scoring against Canada during their semifinal women's soccer match at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Monday.
Jon Super

After a physical and hard fought match, the United States' Alex Morgan scored a goal to beat Canada 4-3 in the 122 minute of the quarterfinal women's soccer match.

The goal sends the United States to the gold medal match against Japan on Thursday.

For the Canadians, this is absolute heartbreak. The United States has quite simply dominated historically. But this match, the Canadians held their own and had a chance to reverse a 26-match losing streak against the U.S.

It all came to an end, however, in the final seconds. Morgan headed a goal with less than 30 seconds to go in overtime.

In an interview with NBC after the game, Morgan called the game a "crazy battle."

On the goal, she said: "I got my head on it at the end and I didn't even see it go in."

Update at 5:48 p.m. ET. A Rematch With Japan:

The AP notes that this win sets up a rematch with Japan, which defeated the U.S. squad at the World Cup a year ago.

The Wall Street Journal, which live blogged the game, reports that this will be the United States' fifth consecutive Olympic final.

"It was a great game that saw Christine Sinclair score a hat-trick for Canada, which held the lead three times, and saw the U.S. come back with two goals from Megan Rapinoe and a penalty from Abby Wambach," the Journal adds.

Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. Controversial Match:

Before the match started, there was already controversy. The Canadian coach accused the U.S. women's soccer team of "highly illegal tactics."

The AP reports:

"John Herdman said the Americans go beyond the rules with their physical play on set pieces.

"'One of the big threats we've got to take care of, and what we've paid attention to, is the illegal marking in the box on their corners and free kicks,' Herdman said. 'Some of the blocking tactics, which are highly illegal, we'll keep an eye on them in the game. We've starting working on that in training without trying to injure our players.'"

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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