That’s what it took to decide the semi-final in women’s Olympic soccer yesterday. That is the regular 90 minutes, plus two 15 periods of extra time, plus added time. It was a dramatic sporting event. It was exhausting for the players and exhilarating to watch. As the time wound down, athletes from both side had to find extra reserves of energy and several of them (mostly Canadians I might add) took a long time to regain their feet.
All that aside, this wasn’t a 1-0 game. This was a 3-3 deadlock as regulation ended. Each team had plenty of chances. Each team committed plenty of fouls. No one can say that one play decided this game, except for perhaps Alex Morgan’s header off a cross from Heather O’Reilly in the 123rd minute. There were questionable calls and questionable non-calls against both sides. In a game this long, there are bound to be.
Both teams left it all on the field.
But instead of showing great sportsmanship, Canada has a plate of sour grapes…
That was our game. That was our win. And it was just taken away.
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.
And to the refs…
I said, ‘I hope you can sleep tonight. Put on your American jersey. That’s who you played for today.’
Even the coach gets his digs in….
To watch them women just keep getting up was phenomenal. It felt like it was America and the referee against us. … And not to come away with something?
And why shouldn’t the reporter pile on….
Canada played the world’s No. 1-ranked team, the double defending gold medallists, a side they had not beaten in 11 years.
And they lost, unfair and unsquare. But they were magnificent.
What Canada is complaining about is a penalty called on the Canadian goalkeeper for delay of game, and a hands call on the ensuing free kick, which resulted in a penalty kick that tied the game at three. This was with 20 minutes left in the game.
Nearly an hour left, actually.