USWNT defeat Canada in thriller, will face Japan in Olympic final


photo by John Todd/


The U.S. women's national team needed to come back three separate times against Canada, and ultimately they were the ones that came out victorious in a thrilling match that is already being considered an instant classic.

Alex Morgan netted a dramatic winner seconds before penalty kicks were to take place, heading home a cross to give the United States a 4-3 extra-time victory over northern rivals Canada in the semifinals of the Olympics at Old Trafford on Monday.

Morgan's goal capped a valiant 120-minute performance by the Americans, who on three separate occasions responded to Christine Sinclair goals.

The United States will battle Japan, who picked up a 2-1 win over France in the other semifinals fixture, in the gold medal match at Wembley Stadium on Thursday in a rematch of last summer's World Cup final. Canada will face France at City of Conventry Stadium in the bronze medal match that same day.

The U.S. team may have beaten a tough Canadian side that looked capable of pulling off the upset, but they were on the end of a fortuitous call from the main official late in the second half.

With Canada holding onto a 3-2 lead after Sinclair had scored her third of the match, a free kick was awarded to the Americans due to goalkeeper Erin McLeod holding onto the ball longer than the regulated six seconds. The ensuing free kick by Megan Rapinoe, who scored twice in the match, crashed into a Canadian player's arm and the referee whistled for a penalty kick that Abby Wambach converted in the 80th minute.

That was not the first time the United States found a goal when they were trailing, either. Canada took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Sinclair punished the Americans and beat goalkeeper Hope Solo with a well-taken shot following a nice passing sequence. But Rapinoe equalized in the 54th minute with an olympic goal, as her corner kick bounced over the goal-line despite Lauren Sesselmann and another Canadian defender having chances to clear it.

Canada did not roll over, however, as they reclaimed the lead for a second time when Sinclair scored in the 67th minute. The Americans once again evened things up through Rapinoe, who bagged her brace and killed the momentum Canada had with a wonder strike from 23 yards out three minutes later.

It did not take long for the Canadians to go ahead for a third time. Sinclair headed a cross off the near post and into the back of the net in the 73rd minute. But Canada once again failed to put Pia Sundhage's team away, giving up a penalty kick to Wambach late in regulation before Morgan's heroics in the final seconds of extra-time.


What do you think of the United States' 4-3 win over Canada? Consider this game an instant classic? Excited to see the gold medal match against Japan?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Olympic Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

195 Responses to USWNT defeat Canada in thriller, will face Japan in Olympic final

  1. Mig22 says:

    While I’m happy the US advanced, and you can’t blame the players, that combination of decisions that led to the USA’s 3rd goal casts a pall on this result as does 3 minutes of stoppage time after a 15 minute OT period.

    Exciting, yeah, but definitely tainted to my mind.

  2. OnThePayroll says:

    Referee deserves a medal along with the Americans.

  3. LoS says:

    WOW. just wow!! rematch of WC final.

  4. dan says:

    is there a web site where I can see Morgan’s goal?

  5. josh says:

    There were several injuries. It was 3 minutes.

  6. Atletico Man says:

    Fabulous match. Bad calls went both ways, only tainted if you’re partisan. Great football on both sides.

  7. realio says:

    umm you forget the player blowing her knee out, getting carried, getting off the stretcher, etc?

    wasnt the best officiating but 3 minutes was correct imo

  8. Ryan Nanez says:

    Alex Morgan<3<3

  9. dan says:

    it was a tough game to lose….

  10. scott says:

    If Canada won, the refs would deserve one as well.

  11. OnThePayroll says:

    Are you serious dude? What possibly squares an unheard of six-second call resuting in a questionable PK?

  12. josh says:

    I like how womens soccer is more physical than the mens…also no diving is nice.

  13. OnThePayroll says:

    For what?

  14. Egad! says:

    A classic game. You usually have to pay me to watch women’s soccer, but I was glued to the tube. The US team is so strong at all positions, but Canada really gave then a lot to handle.

    I still am unsure what the call was on the play that led to the third US goal. If it was handling outside the box, then it was a terrible call as replays confirm. If it was for holding the ball too long, then it is an odd call that I simply can’t remember seeing before. Either way it was a shame to have the third goal develop off that call.

    The US likely would have given Canada all they could handle had that call not been made and may well have tied it up.

    A shame it didn’t go to penalties; seemed an awful lot of stoppage for an extra time period.

    Any chance Christine Sinclair is the unofficial Woman of the Tourney? A magesterial performance on her part.

  15. Tyler says:

    Anyone complaining about ‘bad calls’ favoring the US can look no further than the official REFUSING to send off Trancredi. She was called for ten fouls. TEN. She was called for seven of them after receiving a yellow card.

    Just say that over to yourself. She was yellow carded and then called for seven more fouls without an ejection.

    Some games see entire teams not reaching seven fouls.

  16. NF says:

    Since everyone is complaining about the officials, I have an honest question. It seemed to me that there was a slide tackle early in the second half that should have been a clear penalty against Canada. The ref called it a corner kick, but I saw little if any contact with the ball. Another time, it seemed Wambach was tackled in the box.I had to watch on a poor feed at work, so I should be wrong. Did I miss something?

  17. Tyler says:

    The penalty was for a clear handball in the box.

  18. Timbers Fan says:

    I thought the third U.S. goal was a gift from the ref. She calls a penalty on the keeper for taking more than–what, six seconds!?!?. And then the calls what was very clearly a non-intentional handball. Sheesh.

    I’ll say this for the USWNT–they put on some really exciting games.

    I love that Alex Morgan is so aggressively focused n scoring that she doesn’t play for the foul.

  19. OnThePayroll says:

    Wambach also committed 10+ fouls… they just weren’t called… 😛

  20. Bobby C says:

    I did not get to tune int until the overtime.
    Martino said both the time wasting and PK were bad calls.
    I have seen a lot of games but I don’t know if I have ever seen a time wasting call in such a big game.


  21. Eric says:

    Tancredi should have been sent off around the 70th minute. Give it a rest.

  22. OnThePayroll says:

    Hardy “clear” when your back is turned to the bloody ball.

  23. Tyler says:

    No, there were several penalties not called against Canada. You’re thinking of a time when Rapinoe I believe went flying into the box and was scissored down from behind.

    The ball went over the line and a goal kick was inexplicable rewarded. Players were furious. It was either a corner kick or a penalty based on what the official claimed to see.

    Also, Abby Wambach was rugby tackled from the side going for the ball.

  24. Tyler says:

    It went off her elbow which was by her face. It was as clear as handball as you’ll see.

  25. Egad! says:

    Ya, the hand ball by Rapinoe in the box that was clear as day in the replay.

    Sure there were bad non-calls on either side. That happens, and they tend to even out.

    The call that led to the third US goal was just plain weird, and taints an otherwise classic game.

  26. Kosh says:

    It’s a call that is not normally made, true (not sure why, because it’s one that could very easily be made several times in many a game). But the ref made the call, which to be honest is not a usual kind of call but you can’t say it was a bad one either.

    As for the bad calls, the real bad calls, both sides suffered their share.

  27. Tyler says:

    There is no question about the handball. The Canadian player had her arm up by her face and the shot went off it. It has never been in question.

  28. Tyler says:

    She didn’t call a penalty. She called an indirect kick for time wasting. There is a time limit (6 seconds) for how long a keeper can hold the ball.

    And it doesn’t matter whether it was intentional or not. The Canadian’s players arm was in an unnatural position and it stopped a shot. End of story. It was a clear cut handball.

  29. bkyn says:

    Will NBC do a replay for those us that were at work?

  30. sagcat says:

    Two Canadian players handled the ball in quick succession. Either one could have been called and been legitimate. I don’t know which was called, but there’s certainly no legitimate complaint about that call.

    The six second call was certainly odd. I’d be curious to know exactly how long she held the ball, and whether she was given any warning by the ref.

    Either way, people are focusing here on the wrong thing. PK’s could have been called for both teams and were let go. Tancredi (one of my favorites) was certainly tight-rope walking her red card the whole game.

    After all, this was an amazing game. Even if the USA had lost in the end, I’d be saying it was one of the best games I ever watched.

  31. AcidBurn says:

    Six-second call resulted in an indirect free kick. Not a PK. Blame the Canadian defenders, not the ref. Maybe if they didn’t flap their arms around the PK might not have been called.

  32. You might want to refer to the Laws of the Game. Are you suggesting that calling the game by the rules is unheard of? And the PK was in now way questionable.

  33. NF says:

    Tyler, you’re correct. That’s the one I was talking about.

    I agree the decision to award an indirect kick for holding the ball too long is incredibly strange when that never gets called. I just think it’s unfair to diminish what the USWNT earned when there were obviously bad calls on both sides.

  34. AcidBurn says:

    Good that Ray Hudson wasn’t commenting on this one. He wouldn’t have survived. He would have keeled over when Wambach missed the sitter in the 86th.

  35. c says:

    I know this website is the world of soccer from an americans point of view and I dont know how many people from other countries visit this site but it seems like there are a good amount from the comments. The U.S women’s team won an instant classic to go to the gold medal match for a rematch of the world cup. WHat more could u ask for. Ref was terrible for both teams. Bigger story is the women advancing. Would think more U.S. fans would be happier that the U.S. won than complain about the refs

  36. sagcat says:

    Rapinoe’s arm was against her body, and it hit the place where her chest and arm came together. It could have gone either way. It’s definitely not an egregious non-call.

  37. Seriously says:

    Kyle Martino is an idiot. The call for the time wasting is hard to say as NBC likes to cut to other things at strange times so I have no idea how long the Canadian held the balle, but Canada got away with a lot of physical play in the box and could have been called for several tackles on Wambach and Morgan in the box, they were lucky to only give away 1 PK.

  38. Kosh says:

    Thank you. Was the time wasting call strange? Yeah, because I cannot remember the last time I’ve seen it called. BUT it is within the rules of the game, so to have the ref call it was not a BAD call.

    The hand ball was a pure hand ball – arm extended away from the body in an unnatural position, in the box, PK.

    There were bad calls on both side of the ball but singling out this sequence is off. there were no bad calls on that sequence.

  39. AcidBurn says:

    Most likely they’ll show 20 seconds of highlights tonight along with a pre-recorded puff piece on Alex Morgan. Sigh.

  40. Raymon says:

    I have the game recorded, but based on the scoreline, was the EFENSE missing its D? Canada scored more goals against us than the aggregate of all our other opponents in this tournament.

    Japan is a much stronger opponent than Canada. So should the scoreline be a worry for us? Is fatigue setting in?

  41. Seriously says:

    The constant fouling in the box and rough American Football style play of the Canadians that they were not penalized for numerous times. Canada was the beneficiary of some bad calls and were lucky only to conceded one PK. Quit cryin’ syrup sucker.

  42. bcoug says:

    Should be on-line at shortly (if not already.)

  43. OnThePayroll says:

    Silly argument. How many times do you think Hope Solo held the ball for more than six seconds?

  44. Seriously says:

    He’s clearly a syrup sucker. Canada played like a hockey team and they ended up costing themselves by giving up one too many infractions in their box.

  45. Madaoua05 says:

    So I think that we can safely conclude that there were some missed/bad calls during the game. And partisans on both sides have legitimate complaints.

    What we can’t debate is that this was one of the best soccer matches in the history of American soccer. Action-packed. Pure quality. Passionate.

    It was amazing.

  46. Seriously says:

    What a tool

  47. WFRW says:

    FIFA Laws of the Game – Law 12

    An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offenses:

    1. Controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possesion

    Now, is it often called, no, but you cannot criticize the referee for following the letter of the rulebook. Criticize others for not calling it, hell criticize FIFA for having in there in the first place, but don’t criticize someone for following the book.

  48. Seriously says:

    Exactly. This is why Canada gave up a PK and the USA didn’t. Canada player had her arm raised outside of her body and Pinoe had hars down in line with her body. Nothing controversial about those two calls at all. Lots of other odd calls going both ways though. I was getting ready to strangle the ref for allowing Canada to play hockey out there, but in the end justice was served.

  49. Mig22 says:

    Well, every journalist I have read so far is having trouble recalling the last time an indirect kick is given for time wasting.

    The PK was a tough call, not wrong maybe, but hard to swallow on top of a free kick that should really never been given.


  50. nufan says:

    if the ball hit on wambach, people would be crying here that it wasn’t intentional. and that the ref should be banned for life.

  51. OnThePayroll says:

    Have you read the rules? Straight from FIFA: Handling the ball involves a DELIBERATE act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm.

    Go read it. You might learn something.

  52. Seriously says:

    You can’t use facts, people dont like them.

  53. Mig22 says:

    I do remember the injury and I would say 2 minutes was fair, not 3. But I agree that it wasn’t unreasonable.

    My point was just that the sum of the decisions were really hard on the Canadians.


  54. OnThePayroll says:

    Guys: read the rule. It says:

    Handling the ball involves a DELIBERATE act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm.

    Go read it. You might learn something.

  55. CPS says:

    I was watching the British broadcast and they mentioned that Wambach was standing next to the ref loudly counting as the Canadian keeper held the ball. Not sure if the keeper had received a prior warning, but Wambach’s counting could have persuaded the ref to make the call.

  56. fischy says:

    The real issue isn’t the time-wasting — it’s the free kick the USA got. Usually, the goalie just gets a yellow card.

  57. OnThePayroll says:

    The test is not “unnatural” position. It’s “deliberation”.

  58. Illmatic74 says:

    Right know they have Doc Rivers giving analysis about the game.

  59. Marc tou says:

    Gutted, but nothing you can do. Sometimes the calls go your way.
    Sometimes a clear penalty goes missed, sometimes you get unearned corners called against you.

    The good news.

    The Americans are mortal, and can be beat. You’re tired and you’re playing Japan.
    You will not win gold and we’ll wait for the next match to beat you.

  60. OnThePayroll says:

    How about the rule on handball PKs. Try that one.

  61. sagcat says:

    Genius, if true.

  62. Marc tou says:


  63. Mike G says:

    CPS – funny you should say that. I was at a HS game this past season where a player was carded for unsporting behavior for counting loudly when the keeper held the ball for a long time. This was late in a tight game and the keeper had clearly been stalling every chance he had.

    Agree that the call was “fortuitous” for USA. But also agree with other comments that there were MANY calls that could have gone both ways. Both of these teams played very physical and the ref let them play. Watching the last 20 minutes, it seemed like there was a player down every challenge. But give them credit – they all got back up and got back at it. No diving, theatrics and fakery from these women.

  64. WFRW says:

    The handball rule mentions deliberate handling, which is a subjective call. Usually considered to be the hand playing the ball when apart from the body. I ready admit that call probably is 50/50 called or not, but is hardly an atrocious call.

    Counting to six isn’t subjective.

  65. sagcat says:

    We all know the rule, dude. I’m sorry your team lost. Really. I LOVE a lot of the Canadian women’s team players. Nothing but respect. And today they played as well as they ever have.

    If the USA had lost, I suppose I could come up with calls that made me upset, but I’d like to think I’d realize there were 100 calls in the game that could have gone either way, and wished Canada luck against Japan.

    So what I’m saying is… you’ve made your point. No need to keep making it over and over.

  66. Mig22 says:

    I’ll chime in here because I like that you included the rule citation. I truly believe that you can (must) criticize the ref for calling it exactly BECAUSE it is never called. Keepers play the game a certain way (time wasting on held balls) all over the world because this rule is not enforced. To trot out this call at that point, instead of the normal yellow card, is bordering on crooked. That’s my two cents at least.

    That said, the US might have tied it up anyways.

  67. sagcat says:

    Good luck to Canada against France!

  68. WFRW says:

    I just think if one ref follows a rule in the rulebook and no other ref does, I don’t blame the one that follows the rule. I think that rule should constantly be enforced. The yellow card that usually gets thrown about means nothing to the keeper. If you followed the rules and dole out real punishment, the behavior stops.

  69. ChuckinBham says:

    You’re correct Fishhy, but I think you are referring to dead ball, like a goal kick or free kick. When it’s open play, the referee can indeed penalize with an indirect kick. HOWEVER, nobody could show us exactly how much time was ‘waisted’.
    I’ve never seen that given. EVER…

  70. WFRW says:

    I should also add that the ref struggled mightily today. Handball call on Canada was 50/50, could have called one on Rapinoe. Can’t believe Tancredi didn’t get sent off for persistent infringement. After the actual PK, Morgan was decimated in the box and got no call.

    Ref did a lot wrong today, the indirect free kick wasn’t one of them, nor was the three minutes of stoppage time after 120.

  71. Scott says:

    As a Celtics fan I found this rather hilarious.

  72. Carl says:

    Checked the recording, the Canadian keeper McLoed had the ball from 76:36 to 76:50.

    Yes it’s rarely called, but by the letter of the law it’s not even close.

    We don’t know, she may have warned the teams against this.

  73. OnThePayroll says:

    I think it’s ridiculous to call it a “clear” hand ball. That’s all.

  74. Ben says:


  75. Mig22 says:

    Absolutely agree that enforcing the rule as written would be a good idea. I just think starting at that point in a tourney semifinal may be have been…unreasonable.

    But yeah, we understand each other’s position.

  76. karma says:

    Just desserts for Canadian coach trying to influence the officials with his comments about the US’ “highly illegal” tactics

  77. Mingjai says:

    Though the rule doesn’t explicitly say it, players have to be responsible for their arm positions, otherwise we’d see the wall extend their arm arguing that the ball contacting their arms was not deliberate.

    Taking a page from the legal concept of intent, if the player deliberately raises his or her arms and the ball contacts the arm, a hand ball should be given as the ball potentially striking the arm is a forseeable consequence of a deliberate raising of the arm.

    Try reading this BBC article, which makes it clear the what constitutes a deliberate act isn’t always clear:
    link to

    “[T]he [FIFA law] fails to describe what constitutes deliberate handball, which places the responsibility firmly on the referee and referees’ assistants.

    “Former Premier League referee David Elleray said the referee’s interpretation depends on whether the hand or arm is in an ‘unnatural’ position at the point of contact.

    “‘Referees look at two specifics – did the hand or arm go towards the ball or in a manner which would block the ball, or is the hand in a position where it would not normally be?’ Elleray told BBC Sport.

    “‘The challenging decisions are if the defending player spreads their arms to make themselves bigger.

    “‘If the ball hits the arm then the referee must decide whether this action was to deliberately block the ball or whether the player has raised their arms to protect themselves – especially if the ball is hit at speed.'”

  78. karma says:

    Good work inspector

  79. ManicMessiah says:

    Was watching halftime of USA basketball on NBC Sports and they said they were replaying it after the basketball game.

  80. Ben says:

    Agree w/ sagcat.

  81. I don’t know. I do know that she wasn’t warned about it at halftime and the Canadian goalkeeper was. So she knew the referees were watching her for it.

  82. Ben says:

    Fwiw, I thought the Canada handball was a handball, but I was absolutely stunned when Rapinoe didn’t get one called against her. Probably they both should have been called, or neither of them.

    Nevertheless, heck of a game for both sides. I hope Canada wins their game, because they definitely deserve to medal.

  83. Seriously says:

    Ding ding ding, the Bham connection gets the points. You are thinking of the wrong type of call fischy. Normally you see yellow given when the goalkeeper delays a restart on a goal kick. This was not a goal kick this was the keeper holding the ball for more than the six seconds allowed by the rules. It is an important distinction.

  84. So you are suggesting that you know more about the rules and how to interpret them than the referee? That’s just laughable.

  85. bcoug says:

    Right, and moving you arm away from your body in an unnatural (e.g. not just the normal swinging of an arm while running) is a deliberate act, as it was in this case.

  86. Seriously says:

    Learn anything yet OTP? Or does it only apply when you think you have shaded things to fit your argument?

  87. OnThePayroll says:

    the rule EXPRESSLY states that the position of one’s arms is IRRELEVANT.

  88. carlos says:

    And the ref let a clear PK go when Morgan was taken down just after the one she called. I think one call for two fouls was fair

  89. She admitted to being warned at halftime.

  90. Seriously says:

    There has been pretty clear evidence to the contrary of your argument. You can cry about it and try to shade things your way all you want, but you are simply wrong.

  91. OnThePayroll says:

    …. all of which is to say, was it really a “clear” hand ball? I don’t think so. I think you can justify calling it either way, but don’t go on about how it was clear as day.

  92. shane says:

    really, and what is that based on?

  93. ChuckinBham says:

    Canada should give 1/2 of their Bronze Medal to the NCAA Women’s Soccer. Jus sayin…

  94. shane says:

    Bobby Zamora does that all the time.

  95. OnThePayroll says:

    I was just quoting the rule…

  96. Seriously says:

    Your butt must be sore

  97. bcoug says:

    And conveniently ignoring all the accepted interpretations (published interpretations by FIFA officials, not just fans on a website) of the rule because it bolsters your argument to quibble.

  98. Seriously says:

    Might as well give it up this genius is clearly smarter than everyone else. Ever think of getting your ref license OTP? I think you have a great shot at a 6yr old league.

  99. Seriously says:


  100. OnThePayroll says:

    Dude, why so much hate?

  101. Seriously says:

    That long? No wonder it was called this time when it hardly ever is she had her time plus much more.

  102. Seriously says:


  103. gene says:

    I somewhat agree with everything, but the 3 minute issue. A few players were injured, for both teams. The free kick for the delay was a strange call and a break for us.

  104. Seriously says:

    Im just pointing out where you are wrong until maybe you see the light. You came on here to cry about officiating and you are wrong but refuse to see it. You are on here cheapening the US’ defeat of Canada and I’m just showing you out the door.

  105. Mike r says:

    Glad US won Canada is a borderline dirty team.

    The US proved that Hope Solo should shut her mouth and Brandi Chastain was right the defense was not very good. Yes the us showed great heart coming back but wouldn’t have had too if the defense wasn’t putrid.

    Reminds me of the WC. Nice come back but proving the defense is vulnerable going into a final with Japan. Japan is a good arial team and the US was crap in the air defensively.
    I also think that Beuhler is horrible and one of the main reasons we lost to China and almost lost today especially on third Canada goal.

  106. Mike r says:

    The next match will be meaningless. Your team will hack away at France and still get their a$£es kicked. Fourth place is more Canada deserves.

    Almost only counts in Horseshoes

  107. hogatroge says:

    ‘Merca*, F*** Yeah!

    * The United States of

  108. hogatroge says:

    999/1000 referees would have called that a handball/PK.

    No matter what the LotG say, unless your arm is against your body and the ball hits it when you’ve made no motion to stop the ball, you’re gonna get a handball called.

    She twists and raises her arm which moves into the path of the ball… maybe she didn’t intend to handle it, but she did intend to shield her head with her arm and the ball hits her forearm.

    Cut and dry.

  109. DingDong says:

    Look, OTP, I agree with you that there were many questionable calls. I also agree that the Canadians probably had worse with the calls that didn’t go their way. I genuinely like Canada’s team and I really hope the Canadian men can get it together some day as well.

    But please stop arguing about the word “deliberate” in the handball rule. It’s well known that the rule is strangely worded but it is really universally accepted by all referees and just about everyone else whose opinion matters that the word “deliberate” doesn’t just mean you were trying to play the ball with your hand; instead it means something like your hand was in an unusual position and it was not their to protect yourself from the ball.

  110. DingDong says:

    *worse luck

  111. hogatroge says:

    I think it’s more than a 50/50. Gooch’s handball against Brazil was a 50/50. When you raise your arms and try to shield your head against a shot taken straight at your face, you have intent. The intent isn’t to handle the ball and prevent a goal… it’s to prevent the ball from hitting your face.

  112. hogatroge says:

    So what… that’s a good idea in my opinion. The world of football/soccer could take this lesson from Ultimate Frisbee.

  113. hogatroge says:

    what’s an asle?

  114. Azilis says:

    3+ minutes was entirely appropriate given that there were multiple times the game had to be stopped for injured players.

  115. Azilis says:

    The US benefited from the 6-second call and the handball going their way. Canada benefited from the physicality of the game not being controlled by the referee.

  116. DingDong says:

    For one, I’m glad that people are being gracious enough winners and objective enough to realize that Canada played a really good game and the US needed a bit of luck to win (nothing wrong with that).

  117. Will Cotto says:

    why tainted-isn’t there extra time for both teams?

  118. matt c in tampa says:


  119. Mingjai says:

    I don’t know why, but every time they brought up the “highly illegal” comment on the broadcast, I couldn’t help but thinking of the “strenuously object” exchange from A Few Good Men:

    “‘I strenuously object?’ Is that how it works? Objection. Overruled. No, no, no, no, I strenuously object. Oh, well if you strenuously object, let me take a moment to reconsider.”

  120. matt C in tampa says:

    i think the ref noticed the time wasting on previous possessions and may have warned the Maple leaf keeper about it at half time. Oddly, on that possession, i started counting outloud and reached five before NBC cut away…but just and them came back.. But based on getting to five than the not seeing the ball back in play for another 3 or 4 secs, seems she clearly exceeded 6 secs. i’m sure there’s a video of it. Yep, rare call but the keeper flirted with the rule to intentially waste time and got busted. Too bad. Just b/c it’s not called that often doesn’t make it a bad call. Correct call.

  121. matt C in Tampa says:

    Well in Carl. It seemed like a long time…it if the possession even exceeded 8 seconds she should have been busted. Only incorrect call about the play was the lack of yellow. I don’t think she got one.

  122. Matt C in Tampa says:

    I should add that the keeper holding the ball that long was “highly illegal”.

  123. Scooter says:

    Great game! For Canada fans the sequence of events leading to the 3rd US goal were tough to take… But it happens in this game. Canada played better than they ever have and pushed the US to the limit. As a Canadian I can accept he defeat and still be very proud of our team.
    For 15 years the US women have dominated games by being the most physical team in the world. Interesting to see that Canada showed up today with clear intention of being more physical than the US. Canada clearly doesn’t have as much talent as the US, so they had to try to do something to compete.

  124. Herb Real says:

    I’d like to see this all more often. Time wasting is the worst thing in soccer!!

  125. tom says:

    Through all of this Coach Herdman has shown that he has no class unlike most of his players.

  126. Seriously says:

    So the US was benefited by the rules being followed and Canada was benefited when they weren’t. Yup seems about right.

  127. Mig22 says:

    fair enough. But the US was more likely to score at the end and thus benefited by the extra time.

    But the time is a fair argument. I don’t recall seeing three minutes in an extra time period, ever really. I could be forgetting a few though.

  128. NE Matt says:

    This is the last free kick in the box that i remember

    link to

  129. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Yeah, it’s actually pretty common practice, people just don’t notice because the camera rarely catches it.

  130. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Everyone knows that the US defense is shaky, that was never the point. Solo was just sticking up for teammates who were being criticized – she did right in my book.

  131. NF says:

    I have to say I have lost a heck of a lot of respect for Canadian soccer fans as well as their women’s team. I know American fans can be ridiculous at times (and I am quick to point it out), but when you have a coach making statements trying to influence the refs before the match, incredibly dirty play during the match and then players saying the match was decided before it began, that’s absolutely disgraceful. Then I go to the CBC website and see literally hundreds of comments claiming the match was fixed (because apparently Oympics officials care very deeply about women’s soccer). All of this when the bad decisions probably evened out in the end. I think I may have a new least favorite team.

  132. Cholmondeley Warner says:

    Come on Japan

  133. marden08 says:

    Amy said that goalie had been warned several times that she was taking too long to release the ball. the correct restart when tiem wasting is called against the goalie is an indirect free kick. I would agree that such a thing is not usually called but if the goalie had been warned a couple of times it was appropriate. On the indirect free kick there were two possible Canadian handballs. the second one in my mind was worthy of intentional. The extra minute at the end of the first extra period and the extra three minutes at the end of the second period were okay because of injuries. the last goal was before the 3 minutes were up. the referee allowed a corner kick after time had expired at the end of the first extra period that was not appropriate. You only extend a game for a penalty. I feel for Canada but depending on the circumstances regarding warning the goalie the referee was probably appropriate in calling a foul for time wasting.It is not normally called but it should be called more.

  134. Mig22 says:

    yeah, that was a wild one. not for time wasting, though.

  135. Brett says:

    It’s pretty rare for the infraction to occur, so that is why there are so few people who remember seeing one called.

    The keeper can only hold the ball for so long. It’s a rule, and breaking it incurs a dead-ball kick. The normal form of time wasting occurs when the ball is dead for a goal kick and the keeper delays the restart. No foul play there.

    The handball was harsh, but there was an arm involved that provided an advantage. It didn’t look deliberate, but if the ref gives it you can only suck it up and move on. No doubt if a call like that went against the US there would be tons of crying about it.

  136. jg says:

    That was ball to hand. Don’t know about crazy Olympic rules but per FIFA it’s no penalty.

  137. jg says:

    Never, ever seen that called in any game involving anyone over the age of 12.

  138. Elvis says:

    If the ref. gives you a warning not to hold the ball, he’s basically warning you that he might call you on it and if you refuse to listen and except what he is saying then the it’s on you.

    If anything Canada should be thanking the ref for letting them turn this into a rugby match.

  139. Raffi says:

    Seems fairly straight forward to me:

    1 – the handball was the correct call based on mountains of “case law” [common practice of refs, even documented as such as has been politely pointed out]

    2 – the free kick should *not* have been awarded for the time wasting; a yellow should have been given [again, based on mountains of established practice.]

    To OTP – please stop quoting the “deliberate” part of the FIFA Rules and ignoring the accepted interpretation of that rule. It’s silly.

    And for the free kick, I don’t terribly blame the keeper for trying to time waste even if she was warned at half time; she surely just expected to be given a yellow.

  140. Brett says:

    You’re not thinking about what was clear from the ref’s point of view. There’s a dead ball kick, wall comes apart, ball appears to be on frame, and a Canadian jumps with arms flailing into her body and the ball hits an arm and a hand and ricochets.

    You’ve got to see why it was called from that perspective.

  141. go usa says:

    As was mentioned earlier, yellow cards are punishment for wasting time on a goal kick, a dead ball situation.

    Punishment for holding a live ball too long is an indirect kick from inside the box. As we saw, this is very dangerous and punishment enough.

  142. Gobletto says:

    Rubbish! If that’s the case, this call should’ve been made in every other game in this tournament.

    The hand ball call was dubious as well. The ref ignored a more obvious US handball 10 minutes earlier.

    Horrible refereeing.

  143. Gobletto says:

    Perhaps…it just so happens that only 1/1000 referees would have called the 6 second violation that led to the handball call.

  144. Ryan says:

    why cant the men be this good.

  145. Ed says:

    Credit to both teams for their spirited quality play.

    I thought the ref had to call the handball because the shot looked to me like it was going in. When the shot is way wide for example, refs are more likely to let it go. But when it is on frame, it is a must call.

    Years ago I officiated a game and made that keeper delay of game call. It never felt right, but it was in the books. (This was as a volunteer in a Jr. Soccer league.)

    The game was so good that by the end both teams deserved to win. Thank you Canada and USA for showing high quality soccer for over 120 minutes!

  146. jg says:

    Unless your name is Torsten Frings.

  147. happyjuggler0 says:


    It is sad that the media rallies around one of their own when they are criticized; they can dish it out but not take it it seems.

    It is also sad that some fans are taken in by the media’s defending their own.

    Fact is that Chastain is a sub par color analyst….

  148. Ed says:

    I think you are spot on Raffi.

    Established practice is how football rules are enforced. And I think you are completely right on both points.

  149. happyjuggler0 says:


    I was frankly shocked that Canada played the ball out when a US player was down…some background, even though the US had one of their own down, they didn’t play the ball out of bounds, they kept playing. If I had seen that as a player there is no way I would have kicked the ball out.

    I saw several other sportsmanlike gestures of a lesser sort that Canadians can take great pride in…although if they had played more hardcore instead they might have won.

    Canadians should be proud of their team tonight!

  150. jg says:

    Wrong. Deliberate is the ONLY thing that counts. The Law says a direct kick is awarded if player: “handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area).” It’s a penalty kick if it happens in the area.

    Here are the FIFA guidelines for interpretation of the Law:

    “Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:
    -movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
    -distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
    -position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
    -touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shinguard, etc.) counts as an infringement
    -hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard, etc.) counts as an infringement”

    It’s a judgment call totally dependent on the ref’s interpretation of intent (did the player mean to block the ball) per the above.

    OTP is correct on the Law. Sorry. And yes, the Law is poorly written.

    link to

    In this case, I do no not see how in the world you can impute intent to the Canadian player. She twisting with elbows somewhat akimbo, but there’s no deliberate act to block the ball. I don’t even see gamesmanship.

    Of course, it never should have gotten that far.

  151. jg says:

    Raffi is not spot on and does not know the handball rule. Deliberate is the one and only determining factor, per…wait for it…FIFA rules. See my comment above. If “case law” enters here it’s in the Canadian’s favor. Most refs are pretty leery of awarding a PK in the 80th minute of a one goal game in a global semifinal unless intent is very, very clear. Not like this one.

  152. LA G says:

    I don’t understand why people would complain about a few extra minutes in overtime. Most everyone hates pk’s, so prolong prolong prolong in my book.

  153. Kevin Smith says:

    The ref is the one who cheapened the US win. Dreadful decision on the free kick (I have seen time wasting called many many times. Always with a yellow card, never with an indirect free kick), and iffy decision on the penalty.

    It’s pretty clear that the first Canadian was jumping and protecting her face (which, as she turned while jumping, led to her arms being being the point of contact), while the second was facing towards the ball, arms in front of her, and did not have time to react after the deflection off the first Canadian.
    In both cases it’s hand to ball, in both cases it’s not intentional, and thus, in both cases, it’s an iffy call.

  154. LA G says:

    I loved the indirect free kick on the goalie. She literally took over 10 seconds the previous time. I remember thinking that the ref should have blown for the call. Then the next play she did it again albeit for only 7 seconds, but it was the right call.

  155. happyjuggler0 says:

    Ok, this is a much better highlight reel, amy not be available outside the US (based on last game comments):

    link to

  156. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Yes, horrible refereeing. Hate it when they follow the rules.

  157. louis z says:

    although I’m very happy of the outcome I did see a few Iffy decisions by the ref, specially the indirect kick against the canadian golie for taking too much time to punt.

  158. ex_sweeper says:

    Wow – I’ve been playing and watching soccer for more than 20 years and have never seen a six second foul called on the pro level. The handball was a tough call, but most refs would call it that way. And if the referee hadn’t awarded a penalty, she would have been justified in awarding a retake for encroachment. A Canadian player was halfway from the wall to Rapinoe by the time the ball was kicked.

    Sinclair is awesome.

  159. Ivar Clam Man says:


  160. beachbum says:

    Abby took a forearm to her head while being sandwiched…no call. There were calls/no calls both ways, and Canada’s aggressive play, in the end, was not enough

    What a game

  161. beachbum says:

    We kept saying that

  162. beachbum says:

    Wow, you’re a true wiener

  163. beachbum says:

    Explain the forearm to Abby’s head in the area not called, let alone carded.

    If you discussed it all from all angles OK, but you are a one way street on the payroll..who is paying you?

  164. beachbum says:

    Well said


  165. beachbum says:

    This is a large piece to understanding or all

  166. beachbum says:

    McCleod was awesome tonight, great keeper, the indirect kick notwithstanding. Even with Sinclair’s hat trick, if Canada won she was the MVP.she was tremendous

  167. USAmr says:

    Well said, and respect to the Canadian women who showed up with a plan and nearly pulled it off.

  168. DingDong says:

    Note in the below paragraph how there are three instances of “deliberate” and one of them (“the player’s arms were not in a normal playing position at the time”) does not involve intent. (I will grant you that it is less cut and dry than hogatroge seems to imply in the below post though). (And don’t tell me that USSF interpretations don’t apply to the Olympics. This is just an example of a pretty standard interpretation of the rule. I’m sure we can find others).

    The offense known as “handling the ball” involves deliberate contact with the ball by a player’s hand or arm (including fingertips, upper arm, or outer shoulder). “Deliberate contact” means that the player could have avoided the touch but chose not to, that the player’s arms were not in a normal playing position at the time, or that the player deliberately continued an initially accidental contact for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage. Moving hands or arms instinctively to protect the body when suddenly faced with a fast approaching ball does not constitute deliberate contact unless there is subsequent action to direct the ball once contact is made. Likewise, placing hands or arms to protect the body at a free kick or similar restart is not likely to produce an infringement unless there is subsequent action to direct or control the ball. The fact that a player may benefit from the ball contacting the hand does not transform the otherwise accidental event into an infringement. A player infringes the Law regarding handling the ball even if direct contact is avoided by holding something in the hand (clothing, shinguard, etc.).

  169. USAmr says:

    Might even have been longer. The camera cuts away from the clock and the keeper toward the end of that time. I don’t think she kicked it until after the whistle sounded. Over 14 seconds after being warned at the half probably isn’t advised.

  170. Kishan Jeter says:

    I’m an American so I wanted USA to win but to be honest, I just wanted to see a good game and a great game it was. I would not have been mad had Canada won because both teams played their hearts out on that field.

    Regarding the handball. You have to keep your arms and hands close to your body even if you’re protecting your face or groin. The Canadian girl lifted her arm and thus it was a correct call by the ref regardless if she lifted it to protect her face. She should’ve took one to the face for the team.

    Regarding the stoppage time. 3 minutes was appropriate. The extra time helped both teams try to get an extra goal. It just turned out to be USA that got it first.

    Lastly, I say this. Canada has some pretty hot looking women on their team. I’m impressed. AND they played like Champions. That girl that hyper-extended her leg has a lot of heart. Hell, both teams do. Great game!

    I just hope USA has enough energy left to deal with Japan. I know they’re all dead tired, injured, sore, and everything else. Japan had an easier time defeating France. France missed an open goal on a penalty kick. Amazing!

  171. Beachbum says:

    O’reilly with the cross for the winner…love her game!

  172. USAmr says:

    Why can’t we get a ref for CONCACAF qualifying that calls time wasting on the keeper?

    Same with the 3 minutes added at the end. It could have been 5 with the Canadian player committing a foul (cleats up-uncalled) then staying on the ground waiting for the stretcher, limps off slowly when the stretcher arrives, but then comes running back on to the field as soon as play restarts. Time wasting trying to go to PKs. They deserved to lose.

    Sinclair rocked this game!

  173. Rich says:

    When you put your hand or arm in front of your face you are DELIBERATELY trying to contact the ball with your hand or arm so the ball will not hit you in the face, even if it’s just a reaction. A ref will and should call it a handball every time. Evidently you read the rule but didn’t learn anything.

  174. Nate says:

    HA! #NeverForget2002

  175. Nate says:

    If it’s true the GK had been warned by ANY of the officials for time-wasting while holding the ball, getting called for time wasting is 100% her own fault.

    As a GK I have been warned a few times about time wasting while holding the ball. When I’ve been warned in the past, every time I hold the ball after the warning I count the 6 seconds aloud in a respectful tone and pace. I’ve never been called for the infraction after I’ve counted aloud to ensure I get my full 6 seconds without being penalized. If she would of counted her allotted time out, I’m sure she wouldn’t of been called for the foul.

  176. bcoug says:

    Now that we’ve settled the whole handball and six-second call issues, can someone explain to me how Tancredi doesn’t get sent off in 55th minute for deliberately stepping on Lloyd’s head? I can’t believe that both the field official and the AR missed that.

  177. VJM says:

    The test is go watch more than 10-20 matches in your life and maybe you’ll start to understand the rule.

    And forshame on a ref who actually calls the 6 second rule. FIFA Laws of the game 2012-13 page 116, restart of play is an indirect kick from the spot of this foul. Rule does not state that this is a yellow card infraction. Yes, it’s like getting caught for J-walking on its usage. But it’s still a rule/law.

    Technically this rule should always be called. Multiple infractions should receive a yellow and indirect kick. That would definately deter keepers from “just gonna take a yellow” for time wasting.

  178. jg says:

    I guess the fact that you had to go to a different rule book that does not apply to this match says it all, but even with USSF example you are still just not reading the rule. The only operative word is deliberate. Just because there isn’t motion doesn’t mean there is no intent. I don’t see how it could be clearer.

    Bottom line: If you think the Canadian player tried to block that ball (and I don’t), then the PK was correct. If not, we got lucky. Happens.

  179. Brett says:

    Usually by that age the keepers know that they aren’t allowed to hold the ball that long… Blame the horrid Canadian keeper and her lack of knowledge before you blame the ref for enforcing a rule.

  180. Kevin Smith says:

    “Protecting face or breast if the ball strikes the hands or arms and rebounds away there is NO infraction. The hands must delberately alter the balls direction.”

    Later on the same page, someone pointed out…

    “Unfortunately, these guidelines vary from country to country. In Sweden, we call reflexive handball as a foul, even though one is protecting vulnerable body parts. In USA for example, they do not.”

    link to

    As I intended to say, but clearly messed up, in both cases it was ‘ball to hand’, not ‘hand to ball’. They did not move their arms in order to deflect the ball, and the second player hit (which is the one the referee called) had no time to react before it hit her.

  181. Brett says:

    Regarding #2- It is the keeper’s fault for not knowing the laws. If she had dropped the ball to the ground, she could have waited an hour before kicking it. Holding the ball that long is not the same as delaying a goal kick.

    A yellow is given when the ball is already dead, ie a goal kick. When the ball is live, the play is live, therefore time wasting is a foul and a spot kick is given.

    Again, you rarely see this called because beyond junior high school ages players a keeper knows they can’t hold the ball that long.

  182. jg says:

    Seriously, Brett. Can you name me one time at the pro level you have seen that call? Just one. Keepers take day hikes with the ball in the box all the time and don’t get called. Yes it’s a rule. No, it’s never, ever enforced.

  183. Turd Bradley says:

    If you think for one second the ref didn’t totally win the game for the US you know nothing about the game. Never ever does a real ref call 6 seconds on the gk without ample warnings, plus total and utter ball to hand. I just wish the players themselves would admit they could of not done it without the ref. Thats why i cant stand this team and staff. They could care less about the actual game itself. just keeping kicking it forward and hope to get lucky

    Turd Bradley

  184. bkupp says:

    The question about the 6-second violation isn’t how rarely it’s called, but how far and how often can you violate it before you should expect to be called.

    I noticed McLeod doing it right from the start of the game. Every time she had possession she held it too long, several times at least 20 seconds. The time it was called, she had held it for 16 seconds. Since it seems she was warned, she has no one but herself to blame.

    One of the key points overlooked on the hand ball, was that the defender encroached on the kick and was running straight on towards the ball. Since the ball was clearly heading on-frame, should the offense be penalized by a player being too close and putting herself in danger, then using her hands to protect herself? She puts herself in a dangerous situation, then wants protection for stopping a potential scoring shot? The ref was totally correct in both calls.

  185. Brett says:

    I can’t, but that anecdata won’t prove it has never happened. There are more professional football matches played each day around the world than I see in a year, possibly more.

    What I can tell you I have seen is a ref give warnings to a player for it. Usually those warnings are heeded and the ball comes out faster or the keeper dribbles it like a basketball to stall the 6 second count. It’s pretty rare to see a keeper hold the ball for twice the amount he or she is allowed.

  186. TGA says:

    chastain is rite

    us defense sucks

  187. dcm says:

    Watch the game morons, the US dominated for about 3/4 of the match and deserved a win. In almost every big game I have ever seen, there are questionable calls by the ref. What is new? BABY HORSE!!!!!!

  188. dcm says:

    everyone is forgetting that tancredi could have easily gotten a second yellow on about 5 different occasions. that would have changed the game dramatically.

  189. dcm says:

    says the guy that clearly knows nothing about the game

  190. FYHC1 says:

    Bottom line is…if you put enough balls in the back of the net, nothing the ref does matters.

  191. Eurosnob says:

    You forgot to add one minute for a delay that resulted from an intentional stomp by a Candadian player on Carli Lloyd’s face. This was a clear red card that was never given so please don’t say that the refs were hard on the Canadians.