On a historic day in Coventry, Canada won its first Olympic medal in women’s football with a last gasp 1-0 win over France to pick up bronze at London 2012. The winner came late in stoppage time off the foot of Diana Matheson, giving Canada their first team medal at the Summer Olympics since 1936.
London - August 9, 2012 - On a historic day in Coventry, Canada won its first Olympic medal in women’s football with a last-gasp 1:0 win over France to pick up bronze at London 2012.
Canada had repelled just about everything France threw at them as their opponents had the bulk of the opportunities but time and again Canada held strong and late into second half stoppage time Diana Matheson launched in a free kick, followed the play in and banged home the ball when it came to her to give Canada its first Olympic medal in a team sport since 1936.
Canada’s previous highest finish in an international competition was a fourth place finish at the 2003 Women’s World Cup.
The game never really came to life in the second half as both teams looked a bit drained after their respective semi-finals. Elodie Thomis, who opened the scoring in France’s 2-0 win over Canada at the Cyprus Cup final in June, had a few half chances but nothing that troubled Erin McLeod in the Canadian goal.
France came to life in the second half and would have had the lead had it not been for some help from the frame of the goal and some last gasp Canadian defending.
In the 62nd minute Thomis played a cutback to Gaetane Thiney’s shot struck the bottom of the post. Canada couldn’t fully clear and Louisa Necib’s follow-up shot was deflected wide.
Just a minute later Thomis again caused difficulty as she raced past defender Carmelina Moscato onto a ball that was flicked on but her shop rattled off the crossbar and went out.
In the 69th minute, France finally got a shot on target through Corine Franco but Desiree Scott got over to clear the ball off the line.
But then came the drama as Christine Sinclair won a free kick and Canada only needed the one chance to make history.
Canada had a starting XI with Erin McLeod in goal, Rhian Wilkinson at right back, Carmelina Moscato and Lauren Sesselmann at centre back and Marie-Eve Nault was at left back. Sophie Schmidt, Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, Melissa Tancredi, Christine Sinclair and Jonelle Filigno made up the midfield and the attack.
In the second half Canadian coach John Herdman replaced Filigno with Kaylyn Kyle (56’), Tancredi with Brittany Timko (77’) and Nault with Candace Chapman (84’).
France had a starting XI of Sarah Bouhaddi in goal with Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Corine Franco and Sonia Bompastor on the back line. Sandrine Soubeyrand, Louisa Necib, Elise Bussaglia, Marie-Laure Delie, Elodie Thomis and Gaetane Thiney made up the midfield and attack.
In the second half, French coach Bruno Bini replaced Soubeyrand with Camille Abilly (54’), Delie with Eugenie le Sommer (61’).