Tokyo Olympics: USA to face Canada as Australia win epic against Great Britain

By Sports Desk July 30, 2021

The United States and Canada will do battle in the semi-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after edging into the final four.

USA - winners of the Olympic tournament four times previously - managed to beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in their quarter-final after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Having finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major event for the first time in their history, the USA knew a much-improved display was needed against a Dutch side who scored 21 times in their opening three games, the most of any women's side at a single Olympics.

They duly delivered a strong display as they twice took the lead only for Vivianne Miedema to continue her sensational form, scoring twice to cancel out goals from Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams in an engrossing contest in Yokohama.

Megan Rapinoe swept the decisive penalty kick high into the net after Alyssa Naeher had made two stops to her right.


BRAZIL FALL SHORT AGAIN

Canada await USA after they inflicted further heartbreak on Brazil, whose wait for gold in this event goes on.

Beaten semi-finalists in Rio five years ago, Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw before suffering another defeat on penalties to the 2016 bronze medallists.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who was injured in the closing stages of extra time, recovered to make two critical saves in the shoot-out to secure a 4-3 win.

"In the moment, it was about trusting myself, trusting my instincts, and trusting my ability to make a save," she said afterwards.

"Pain is temporary. We have our eyes on the prize."

 

WHITE TREBLE NOT ENOUGH AS MATILDAS WIN CLASSIC

The stand-out quarter-final took place between Australia and Great Britain, a seven-goal thriller eventually ending in a 4-3 victory for the Matildas.

Two goals from Ellen White had turned the game on its head and looked to be enough to send Hege Riise's side through, but Chelsea star Sam Kerr levelled in the 89th minute with a crisp low strike.

The contest then swung Australia's way in a dramatic minute in extra time, Mary Fowler's deflected shot finding the top corner after Caroline Weir had a penalty saved at the other end.

Kerr scored another before White completed her hat-trick with a deft header to set up a frantic finale, with Australia just holding on for a famous win.

Remarkably, they overperformed in terms of expected goals by 3.2, their highest such figure at these finals.

Australia will contest their semi-final against Sweden, who ended Japan's quest for a medal on home soil with a 3-1 victory.

Mina Tanaka cancelled out Magdalena Eriksson's sixth-minute opener, but Sweden took control in the second half through further goals from Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani.

 

Related items

  • Arteta accepts Arsenal goalscorer Martinelli 'deserves more' Arteta accepts Arsenal goalscorer Martinelli 'deserves more'

    Mikel Arteta concedes Gabriel Martinelli deserves more game time than he is getting at Arsenal and says the forward is pushing hard to play a greater role for the Gunners.

    Martinelli was on target as Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, just 93 seconds after replacing Bukayo Saka – who had opened the scoring.

    The Brazilian has played only 367 minutes across nine appearances in all competitions this season, with just four of those as part of the starting line-up.

    His goal against the Magpies was his first of the campaign, while he has yet to register an assist from the five chances he has created.

    But Arsenal boss Arteta believes the goal can act as a springboard for a player whose attitude continues to impress the Spaniard.

    "It is a big moment for him and I'm especially happy for him because how he behaves," Arteta told Arsenal's official website of Martinelli.

    "Some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some players are very respectful, like he is.

    "He's patient, but at the same time he's really pushing and challenging and it makes every decision that you make even harder because he deserves more and I'm really pleased because he really helped the team to get the points."

    Martinelli's goal was his first Premier League home strike since January 2020, with 679 days having passed between the efforts.

    He has had fewer than 15 minutes of top-flight action since August, but Martinelli accepts there is a need to be patient.

    "Yeah I need to be patient as I always say, if I play 10 or 20 minutes, I have to play well and be ready to play," Martinelli said.

    "I love the fans, I'm so happy to be here, playing for this club and I'm so happy for the victory.

    "We knew that the game was going to be hard, but we came prepared to the game and I'm so happy.

    "To be fair I don't remember [the goal]. I think Martin [Odegaard] played it wide to Tomi [Takehiro Tomiyasu] and I just thought I'd go to the box and try to head it, and I finished the ball. I'm just happy to score the goal."

  • Suns embracing franchise equalling win streak ahead of Warriors clash Suns embracing franchise equalling win streak ahead of Warriors clash

    Chris Paul is embracing the prospect of the Phoenix Suns matching their franchise record streak of 17 consecutive wins ahead of Tuesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

    The Suns veteran, who reiterated that the ultimate goal is an elusive NBA title, had 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Phoenix beat the Brooklyn Nets 113-107 on Saturday.

    The win over the Nets moved the Suns' winning run to 16 games, within one victory of their franchise best, set in 2006-07.

    "It would be nice," Paul said during the post-game news conference. "Obviously everybody knows the ultimate goal is to win a championship but if you don't enjoy the small victories throughout the regular season then what the hell are you doing?

    "More than anything, we are having fun... We are going to keep taking it one game at a time and enjoy the moments because it's all about the journey."

    The Suns, who were beaten in last season's NBA Finals by the Milwaukee Bucks, have a 17-3 record this season, only bettered by Tuesday's opponents Golden State (17-2).

    "We know how good that team is over there," Paul added. "They have identity. They're led by Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green] and now they've got Iggy [Andre Igoudala]. That's a tough team anytime you play against them."

    Devin Booker top scored for the Suns with 30 points against the Nets, including four three-pointers along with four assists.

    On the potential franchise-equalling game, he added: "I am looking forward to it. "Obviously [it is] not a make it or break it game. Not a playoff game. But we know it will be a high-energy game.

    "Two best records in the NBA. It is going to be a high intensity fun game."

  • Harden still 'trying to figure it all out' after frustrating Nets defeat Harden still 'trying to figure it all out' after frustrating Nets defeat

    James Harden admits he is still trying to figure out how to play his best basketball for the Brooklyn Nets after an ordinary display in the 113-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

    Harden registered his fourth triple-double of the season, but he had seven turnovers and shot poorly, going none-for-six from three-point range for his 12 points under close guarding from Mikal Bridges.

    The 2018 MVP also shot four-for-16 from the field, finishing with 13 rebounds and 14 assists, as his up-and-down season continues.

    Harden is averaging 20.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game this season, with his offensive output the most alarming decline on his 25.0 career average.

    The 32-year-old averaged 24.6 points for the Nets following his January move from the Houston Rockets, with injuries impacting his continuity after the switch and into this season as well as developing cohesion with his new side.

    "Honestly I’m trying to figure all that out right now," Harden said at the post-game news conference. “I’m trying to figure it out.

    "Trying to figure out when to score, when to be a playmaker when to run offense, when to do a little bit of everything.

    "Just trying to figure it out it’s been a little difficult especially since you know, well whatever, but it’s been a little difficult but I’m just trying to figure it out."

    Nets head coach Steve Nash admitted it was a "tough night" for Harden, who was jeered by some fans at the Barclays Center upon his seventh turnover.

    "It was a tough night for him," Nash said during the news conference. "Some turnover issues. He didn’t get a lot of good looks.

    "That's part of our growth too, trying to figure out ways for him to be effective, even if he's not getting to the rim."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.