CanWNT advanced to their third-straight Olympic semifinal berth

CanWNT celebrates a penalty shootout victory against Brazil at Miyagi Stadium

The CanWNT advanced to their third-straight Olympic semifinal berth at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu (part of the Miyagi Prefecture), Japan. The game between CanWNT and Brazil ended up in penalties, where CanWNT came from behind to win the penalty shootout. The game itself did not have many scoring opportunities for either team. They were key moments though that helped CanWNT go to a penalty shootout, where they would win the game.

CanWNT advanced to third-straight Olympic semifinal berth in a win against Brazil

Three keys to the game

CanWNT goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé was the player of the game

Stephanie Labbé was the player of the game for Team Canada. This was not just because of her saves in the penalty shootout. The CanWNT defence was good, but there were a few mistakes during the game. For example, Debinha stole the ball from Gilles (who had a good game overall) but was unable to beat Stephanie Labbé. That was also one of a few instances where Labbé had to be brave and make contact with the opposing player like the 120+2-minute of play. She also made an excellent save in the 71-minute.

After giving up the first three penalty kicks, Labbé saved the last two. The save seen above showed that Labbé read the kick perfectly and made a terrific save on a Rafaelle Souza shot. This was also very familiar to the previous penalty kick Labbé saved in the penalty shootout. Both saves were critical for CanWNT to advance to their third-straight Olympic semifinal.

The CanWNT defence was solid

The CanWNT defence was solid throughout the game against Brazil. The first example was Desiree Scott, who made a good defensive play in the sixth minute. Vanessa Gilles and Kadeisha Buchanan most notably played very well defensively against Brazil. A few examples are Gilles making a terrific tackle in the 64-minute and also one in the 69-minute. This is while Buchanan blocked a shot in the 39-minute and made a good tackle in the 44-minute.

Thanks to the great performances of Labbé and their defence, Brazil really only had one clear shot on goal, which was saved by Labbé in the 71-minute.

The CanWNT were slightly better than Brazil in penalty kicks

The CanWNT did not fall under pressure when they saw their most decorated player, Christine Sinclair, miss the first penalty kick. All four penalty kicks were taken successfully by CanWNT. They either got the Brazilian goalkeeper Bárbara to go the other way or was too hard for Bárbara to save.

The one penalty kick that is highlighted is Jessie Fleming’s penalty kick. It was well-taken and kept the CanWNT in the game. Sinclair missed the previous penalty shot and CanWNT would have been behind two nothing if she did not convert the penalty. Ashley Lawrence and Gilles also had terrific penalties putting them in places the Brazilian goalkeeper Bárbara could not reach. This is while Adrian Leon’s penalty went the opposite way of the Brazilian goalkeeper.

CanWNT advanced to their third-straight Olympic semifinals

The CanWNT will advance to their third-straight Olympic semifinals. It was not pretty, but CanWNT got the job done. It was not going to be easy as they faced each other twice before. This included Canada losing 0-2 to Brazil in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. A lot of credit though should be given to Brazil, who shut down the CanWNT offence most of the match. Canada’s offence is not their strongest point, but they did score in all three group stage games in the Olympics.

They will next face the U.S. on August 2 at 4:00 A.M. ET. They will play at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan. Fans can watch the game live on CBC. The other semifinal match will be between Sweden and Australia. The date for that game will be at August 2 at 7:00 A.M. ET. The game will take place at International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan.

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