Can Canada Finally Shake America Up In Women’s Soccer? – .

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Can Canada Finally Shake America Up In Women’s Soccer? – .


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This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to date with what’s happening at the Tokyo Olympics by signing up here.

André De Grasse is the third fastest man in the world. And Penny Oleksiak is alone.

Day 9 started with Oleksiak placing the Canadian Women’s 4×100-Meter Relay in Bronze Medley on the closing night of the swim competition. It was her third medal in Tokyo and the seventh in her Olympic career, breaking the all-time Canadian record she had shared with speed skater Cindy Klassen and speed skater / cyclist Clara Hughes (recall: Penny n is only 21 years old). Oleksiak’s teammates Kylie Masse and Maggie Mac Neil also won their third medal of the Games. The latter won Canada’s only gold medal in swimming in the 100m butterfly. Just like in Rio five years ago, Canadian swimmers finished with six medals, all won by women. Eight national records were broken in the pool and 10 personal bests were set.

This morning on the track, De Grasse won bronze in the men’s 100 meters for the second consecutive Olympic Games. A second place finish in his semifinal a few hours earlier led to a tough lane assignment, but De Grasse clocked a personal best 9.89 seconds behind in 9th place to become the first Canadian to reach the podium twice. Olympic 100m. In the first Olympic final of the post-Usain Bolt era, and with the suspension of reigning world champion Christian Coleman, Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs stepped out of wide open ground to claim gold with a record staff of 9.80. American Fred Kerley took silver in 9.84 – also a PB.

De Grasse, who also owns a pair of bronze medals at the 100 world championships, kept his podium streak alive. The 26-year-old has won a medal in all six individual races he has started (100m and 200m) at the Olympics or world championships. He will look to reach seventh in the 200m, which begins Monday at 10:05 p.m. ET with the first round playoffs. The semi-finals are on Tuesday morning and the final on Wednesday morning.

De Grasse is the first Canadian to win a medal in Tokyo. The total is now 14 – three gold, four silver, seven bronze. Check out the full rankings and a detailed breakdown of Canadian gear here.

Find live broadcasts, must-see videos, breaking news and more in one package perfect for the Olympics. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

Day 10 could be a bit of a break. For the first time in more than a week, no Canadian seems to claim medals. But the women’s football team can secure at least a silver medal by beating the United States in the semi-finals. So let’s start our daily Olympic viewing guide there. Plus, a transgender weightlifter is set to make history, and a heartwarming moment has united two nations in the high jump.

Here’s what to watch on Sunday evening / Monday morning:

Another Canada-U.S. Soccer classic could be in store

Whenever these two countries meet in any sport it is sure to be intense. And this is certainly the case in women’s football. But calling it a rivalry might be a bit generous for Canada, who have a 3-51-7 record against the United States Women’s National Team and haven’t beaten them in 20 years.

Still, these teams fought fierce battles – none more difficult than their epic semi-final at the London 2012 Olympics. In perhaps the most exciting game in Canadian soccer history, Christine Sinclair pulled off a hat trick to put her team on the brink of a monumental upheaval. But a controversial appeal to goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long resulted in a free kick that resulted in a hand ball that allowed American star Abby Wambach to convert a penalty to tie the game in the 80th minute. Then, in the dying seconds of overtime, Alex Morgan buried a header to win for the Americans, 4-3. They continued to take gold. The devastated Canadians channeled their anger at the referee to win their country’s first ever Olympic soccer medal, beating France 1-0 in the bronze game on Diana Matheson’s spectacular goal in added time.

Nine years later, three of the four women who scored in this classic semi-final still play a leading role in their respective teams. Sinclair, the Canadian captain, scored her 187th all-time international goal in Canada’s opener in Tokyo. Morgan also scored once in the group stage. And she and Megan Rapinoe, who scored two goals in the 2012 semifinals, both converted their attempts in the Americans’ penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Wambach, who is right behind Sinclair on the all-time goals list, is retired.

The United States is still the highest ranked team in the world and winner of the last two World Cups. But after winning four of the first five women’s Olympic gold medals, they were eliminated in the quarter-finals in Rio by Sweden. The Americans also looked vulnerable in Tokyo, losing 3-0 to the Swedes in the group stage and drawing 0-0 to Australia, with New Zealand routing 6-1 between the two. Canada didn’t exactly wow anyone either, winning 1-1 draws against Japan and tied Great Britain and beating Chile 2-1 to finish second in their group. In the quarter-finals, Canada beat Brazil on penalties after 120 minutes of scoreless play.

Despite the Canadians’ horrendous record against the United States, the betting odds imply that they have almost a 30 percent chance of pulling off the surprise when these teams face off at 4 am ET (thanks for nothing, planners). If that happens, Canada will play for gold on Thursday night. Otherwise, they will still be able to play for their third consecutive bronze medal Thursday morning against the loser of the Sweden-Australia semi-final. Learn more about the Canada-U.S. Showdown here.

WATCH | Sinclair’s Legacy in Women’s Soccer:

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