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TOKYO – In a surprise, the top-ranked U.S. women’s soccer team lost its semifinal game to Canada 1-0 at the Tokyo Olympics, knocking it out of competition for a gold medal.
The World Cup champions could still claim bronze if they win their next game against Australia on Thursday.
The game was goalless in the half. US team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher had to leave the game in the 30th minute after colliding with American defender Julie Ertz. Team USA said he “landed awkwardly on his right leg.”
Both were trying to stop a Canadian ball right in front of the US goal. Naeher was on the grass for at least four minutes while the coaches worked on her. She remained in the game, but only for the next few minutes. Naeher winced the next time he kicked the ball and raised his hand. She was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who played the remainder of the match.
In the second half of Monday’s game, American defender Tierna Davidson was charged with a foul after video review showed she knocked down a Canadian player in the United States penalty area. Canadian Jessie Fleming scored on the next penalty in the 74th minute.
The United States had several opportunities but could not score a goal.
In group play, the United States had an uneven performance: an opening loss to Sweden, a strong victory over New Zealand and a goalless draw against Australia.
In the quarterfinals, the United States faced the Netherlands, the reigning European champions and a team that the Americans beat in the 2019 World Cup final.
It was a back-and-forth match that ended in a 2-2 draw and was ultimately decided by a penalty shoot-out with Megan Rapinoe’s decisive final kick. In that game, the closer emerged as a hero with two key saves during penalty kicks.
Canada, ranked eighth and led by Christine Sinclair, is the United States’ opponent who has played more than anyone else. Sinclair has scored the most international goals of any woman.