Who needs gold when you can have bronze? Canada’s Olympic soccer triumph

August 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Posted in General Football | Leave a comment

Call them the “Lionesses of Canada” or “Herdman’s Heroes”. Whatever you want to call them, today the Canadian Women’s Soccer team won the bronze medal game in the 2012 Olympic Games. After all of the anger, grief and injustice of the Semi-final loss, the 1-0 win over France was a triumph for our players and for Canada.

The Canadian women’s team took us on a fantastic ride during this year’s Olympics. After the disappointment of the last World Cup, in which Canada played miserably, just qualifying for the Olympics felt great. When we were beaten 4-0 by the Americans in the Olympic qualifying tournament, it looked like we should be happy just to qualify. Our team lost their first group match to Japan, but then beat South Africa convincingly in the second. They showed their guts and character by clawing back from a two goal deficit against a quality Swedish team to tie the game and qualify for the knockout rounds. A convincing 2-0 quarter final victory against Great Britain bought them face-to-face with their arch-nemesis, team USA. They were ten minutes from victory when Referee Christiana Pederson evened up the game for the USA with her ridiculous calls; it was heartbreak time as the game was taken from us.

Canada faced an uphill battle today against a very talented French squad, and to be frank, I thought a win was too much to ask after the physical and emotional toll the match against the USA took on our girls. It turns out that guts and determination are what our Women’s team has in spades. Erin “brickwall” McLeod and her defence withstood the challenge of the relentless French attack. While luck played its part, heroic effort did as well.

Little Diana Matheson, who reminds me of the girls I used to play with on the playground back in elementary school, stole the match with an injury time winner. It was pride and joy time for Canadians. Matheson’s effort in these Olympic games was immense, and she richly deserved her reward. She is now a Canadian soccer legend, and who will forget that goal?

If I were to use one word to describe our team I would use the word “character”. When you look through the squad, we have tonnes of it. We have Christine “Her Royal Highness” Sinclair, Melissa “Rocky” Tancredi, and my personal favourite, Desiree “the gorgeous destroyer” Scott. Scott is undoubtedly the best defensive midfielder in Women’s Soccer. Her bravery and competitiveness put most men to shame. She saved our bacon by stopping French shot on the goal line today. What a beauty she is!!!

It is great to feel pride in a Canadian soccer team again. After years of disappointment and close calls, we have some serious metal to brag about. The next generation of Canadian girls will be inspired and I believe our brilliant Coach John Herdman, who is a master motivator, can take us even higher when we host the World Cup in 2015.

Say it loud and say it proud: Canadian girls rock!!!

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