The United States women’s national soccer team’s quest for Olympic gold ended Monday when it lost 1-0 to Canada in the semifinals.
Canada’s Jessie Fleming scored a penalty in the 75th minute to reach her first Olympic final, securing at least a silver medal. The United States will have to settle for the chance to win bronze in a play-off for third place.
US midfielder Rose Lavelle fouled in the penalty area and Canada’s Jessie Fleming calmly stepped in to score the goal. American goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, brought in to replace injured Alyssa Naeher, guessed correctly and dived to her left, narrowly missing the ball.
Neither team dominated in a shy and provisional first half, with the 84-degree heat and 85 percent humidity creating difficult conditions for both teams.
USA coach Vlatko Andonovski made three changes to the squad that beat the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Alex Morgan started in attack in place of Carli Lloyd, Rose Lavelle replaced Sam Mewis in midfield and defender Tierna Davidson replaced Abby Dahlkemper.
Australia will face Sweden in the remaining semi-final later on Monday.
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The United States had more energy and drive after making three offensive substitutions per hour, with none of the goalies making a stoppage.
Star midfielder Megan Rapinoe then forced a smart save from Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe in the 68th minute after a period of sustained American pressure and a series of corners, but the breakthrough still proved elusive.
But despite sending more players forward in the dying minutes, the United States couldn’t convert the chances into goals and now it is Canada that has the chance to claim Olympic glory. .
Canada, which held Brazil tied 0-0 in the quarter-finals before winning on penalties, won bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
The Americans won gold medals at the 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games, as well as a silver medal in Australia in 2002