Aug 2, 2021 - Sports

U.S. women's soccer team loses to Canada, ending chances at gold

obin Heath #7 of Team United States looks on during the Women's Quarter Final match between Netherlands and United States

Tobin Heath the United States looks on during the Women's quarterfinal match with the Netherlands. Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images.

The U.S. women's soccer team lost 1-0 to eighth-ranked Canada in the Olympics semifinals on Monday, ending its chances at winning a gold medal in Tokyo.

Why it matters: The loss marks the second straight Olympics the U.S. team will not play in the gold medal match. The team was knocked out by Sweden in the quarterfinals during the Rio Games in 2016.

  • Monday's loss also ends the team's quest for a historic back-to-back double — winning the Olympics after emerging victorious at the Women's World Cup. It's the first time Canada has beaten Team USA in 20 years.
  • Both teams struggled to generate much offense in Monday's semifinals, but Canada's Jessie Fleming converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute to take a late lead.

The big picture: Entering the tournament in Tokyo with an experienced team — 17 played on the 2019 World Cup squad — the team struggled to gain its footing early in the Games.

  • The U.S. players suffered a stunning 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their 2021 Olympic debut, before dominating New Zealand 6-1.
  • They tied Australia, 0-0, which was just enough to earn them a spot in the quarterfinals.
  • The U.S. then beat the Netherlands in a nail-biting penalty kick shootout on Friday.
  • The team has earned four gold medals and one silver medal from six Olympic appearances.

What's next: The U.S. will vie for the bronze medal on Thursday at 4 a.m. ET against the team that loses the Australia vs. Sweden semifinal match.

  • Canada will play the winner of the semifinal game in the gold medal match on Thursday at 10:00 p.m. ET.
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