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The U.S. Women's Soccer Team Has Lost Its Shot At The Gold Medal

Carli Lloyd the U.S. women's soccer team looks dejected after their defeat in Monday's semifinal match against Canada in the Tokyo Olympics.
Francois Nel
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Carli Lloyd the U.S. women's soccer team looks dejected after their defeat in Monday's semifinal match against Canada in the Tokyo Olympics.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 5:57 AM ET

TOKYO — In an upset, the top-ranked U.S. women's soccer team lost its semifinal game to Canada 1-0 at the Tokyo Olympics, pushing it out of contention for a gold medal.

The World Cup champs could still take bronze if they win their next game against Australia on Thursday.

The game was scoreless at the half. The U.S. team's goalie, Alyssa Naeher, had to come out of the game in the 30th minute after colliding with U.S. defender Julie Ertz. Team USA said she "landed awkwardly on her right leg."

They were both trying to stop a Canada ball right in front of the U.S. goal. Naeher was down on the turf for at least four minutes as trainers worked on her. She stayed in the game, but only for the next few minutes. Naeher winced the next time she kicked the ball and raised her hand. She was replaced by backup goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who played the rest of the game.

In the second half of Monday's game, U.S. defender Tierna Davidson was called for a foul after video review showed she took down a Canadian player in the U.S. penalty area. Canada's Jessie Fleming scored on the ensuing penalty kick 74 minutes into the game.

The U.S. had several opportunities but was not able to make a goal.

In group play, the U.S. had an uneven performance — an opening loss to Sweden, a strong win over New Zealand and a scoreless draw against Australia.

In the quarterfinals, the U.S. took on the Netherlands, the reigning European champion and a team the Americans beat in the 2019 World Cup final.

It was a back-and-forth match that ended in a 2-2 tie and was ultimately decided by a penalty kick shootout with Megan Rapinoe's decisive final kick. At that game, Naeher emerged a hero with two key saves during penalty kicks.

Canada, which is ranked eighth and led by Christine Sinclair, is the opponent the U.S. has played more than any other. Sinclair has scored the most international goals by any woman.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.
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