CanWNT makes history with first-ever Olympic gold medal

CanWNT makes history with historic gold medal win in Yokohama, Japan
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The CanWNT makes history by winning a historic first-ever Olympic gold medal in its national team’s history. It is also the first major international tournament in either the FIFA Women’s World or the Summer Olympics that Canada has won.

CanWNT makes history with a historic win

Three keys to the game

Canada’s defence was superb

As usual, CanWNT’s defence was fantastic against Sweden. Yes, there were a lot of turnovers in the midfield. However, Canada had to do a lot of defending and it played a big role in the CanWNT.  For example, Kadeisha Buchanan made a good defensive play in the 52 and the 78-minute of play.

She also made a game-saving block in the 90-minute to keep the game tied. Vanessa Gilles also made good defensive plays in the 78 and 82-minute. It was not just these players though. Christine Sinclair also stepped up and made some excellent defensive plays. Other players also stepped up to defend against Sweden. An example of this was the CanWNT working together to prevent a Sweden goal in the 118-minute. It was a team performance and Canada got it done.

Sweden did not capitalize on their chances

Sweden was the better team in the first half and overwhelmed the CanWNT with a lot of pressure. As a result, Sweden had the one-goal lead at halftime thanks to a Stina Blackstenius goal.

Sweden had 24 shots but only had three shots on target. The shot above taken by Andersson was one of the chances as it was a good shot on goal. There were a few times in extra time when Sweden had a free header, but they were not able to put it into the back of the net. This was Lina Hurtig, whose header was wide in the 110th minute and just before extra time ended. Both chances though were off-target.

Then, looking at the penalties, Sweden missed the penalty when Kosovare Asllani hit the crossbar. Sweden did take the advantage though when their goalkeeper made two stops and Gilles of Canada hit the post. This gave Caroline Seger the chance to win Sweden’s first-ever gold medal. However, Seger’s shot went over the net. After that, it seemed the momentum went CanWNT’s way as Grosso scored the game-winning goal to give the CanWNT their first-ever gold medal.

Jessie Fleming and Stephanie Labbé were the players of the game

It is important to note that CanWNT was losing 1-0 almost mid-way through the second half. Christine Sinclair drew a penalty, which was made official in the 65-minute. Jessie Fleming took the penalty and made the Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl go the other direction. The game was then tied.

Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé was pretty good in the first half, making a few saves. However, it was the penalties where she shined the brightest. When Canada was facing a potential 3-1 hole in penalties, Anvegard had a penalty but was unable to convert. Lastly, Labbé read Jonna Andersson’s shot perfectly and stopped her penalty shot. This gave the opportunity for Grosso to be the hero of the CanWNT. She converted the penalty and won their first-ever gold medal.

CanWNT makes history and what it means for soccer in Canada

CanWNT are reigning Olympic champions

Credit should be given to Sweden. They had Canada on the ropes in the penalty shootout and could have easily won. They were the better team in the first half. Even with CanWNT head coach Beverly Priestman’s substitution changes in the second half, Sweden still had chances to score. CanWNT also missed some chances to score. These chances though are not important as the CanWNT are now Olympic champions.  Lastly, Nichelle Prince and Deanne Rose both had excellent performances in this game. They used their speed to trouble Sweden’s defence and created chances for themselves and other players throughout the game.

What the CanWNT gold medal win means

For the first time ever, the CanWNT won their first major international tournament. This is a huge moment for the program and country of Canada. They are only the fourth country in the world and second in Concacaf to win the Olympics in women’s soccer. The other three countries to win the Olympics are Germany, Norway, and USA. The United States of America is the only ones to win gold more than once in the Summer Olympics with four gold overall.

Canada also becomes only the second country to win gold in both men’s and women’s Olympic soccer. In soccer terms, there is not really any accomplishment that compares to this. This is obviously an upgrade to the CanWNT’s bronze medals in 2012 and 2016. The only one that people can make a case for is when the CanMNT won the gold medal in 1904. However, that was a long time ago and sport is a much bigger deal now than it was in 1904.

More importantly, for the first time in Canada, the CanWNT are the best team in the world. What made it more special was that the CanWNT was an underdog to win the competition. According to DraftKingsBook in James Bisson’s betting pros article, CanWNT had a +1500 chance of winning the Olympics in women’s soccer.

This put them as the seventh-most likely team to win the Summer Olympics. USA, Brazil, and Sweden all had higher chances to win the 2020 Summer Olympics than Canada. The CanWNT defeated all three teams in the knockout stages to win the gold medal in Tokyo.

CanWNT makes history in a historic win in gold medal win over Sweden

With this win, the CanWNT might be the most popular national team. It was not easy, but CanWNT fought through a difficult group and knockout stage to win their first-ever gold medal.

Canadian soccer and sports fans, in general, should try to get newspapers of CanWNT’s win over Sweden tomorrow. It is a special moment that may or may not happen again. So, celebrate it, enjoy it, and have fun celebrating.

Picture credit goes to Canada Soccer by Daniela Porcelli on August 6, 2021