The U.S. women’s soccer team beat Canada 4-3 in thrilling fashion Monday when Alex Morgan scored on a header in the 122nd minute, but it didn’t come without its fair share of controversy.A couple of controversial calls toward the end of the second period left the Canadians not just heartbroken, but mad, according to the Toronto Star (emphasis ours).
Forward Melissa Tancredi: “I couldn’t believe what happened. That was our game. That was our win. And it was just taken away.“
Christine Sinclair, who had all three of Canada’s goals: “We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel like it was taken from us. It’s a shame in a game like that that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started.“
With the U.S. down 3-2 in the 78th minute the refs called a delay of game penalty on Canadian goal keeper Erin McLeod as she waited for space to clear so she could launch it toward mid-field.
A rare call that even American head coach Pia Sundhage later said she had “never seen before.” Refs always give players a warning before making that kind of call. McLeod never got one.
That led to a free kick very close to the goal. The kick sailed toward the wall of Canadian defenders and hit Marie-Eve Nault’s arm, leading to a penalty kick.
Abby Wambach got to kick the penalty and nailed it to tie things up 3-3, a score that held up long enough to reach extra periods where the U.S. eventually won.
Tancredi let the ref who made the controversial calls know exactly how she felt as soon as the game ended.
“I said, ‘I hope you can sleep tonight. Put on your American jersey. That’s who you played for today. I was honest.”
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