The United States Women’s National Team narrowly lost to Canada 1-0 in the Olympic semifinals in Japan on Monday, ending the world champion’s bid for the gold medal.
Jessie Fleming’s second-half penalty decided the game as Canada defeated the US for the first time in 20 years.
The USWNT was aiming to become the first reigning FIFA World Cup champion to win a gold medal in women’s football.
“It sucks,” said US forward Megan Rapinoe after Monday’s defeat. “Obviously, you never want to lose. You never want to lose in a world championship, you never want to lose to Canada, obviously, and you never want to lose playing the way we did.
“Every player in the locker room has 100 things that we would all want to do better and that’s the most frustrating thing for all of us. It’s sad because these things only come around every so often. It’s a tough one to swallow.”
With the win, Canadian midfielder Quinn — the first openly trans and non-binary athlete — is guaranteed to win a medal at the Olympic Games.
Canada will play Sweden in Friday’s gold medal match after the European team secured a 1-0 victory over Australia later on Monday.
Striker Fridolina Rolfo struck the winner in the 46th minute to send Sweden into its second successive final.
Five years ago at the Rio Games, Sweden was beaten 2-1 by Germany in the final.
‘Passes off here and there’
“Football always needs joy, when the game is really played at its best, you have it. I feel like we haven’t been able to do that,” added Rapinoe as she reflected further on the USWNT’s loss.
“Everything has been a little bit of a struggle, passes off here and there. I hope we find it, I love playing with a big smile on my face, I think everybody else does as well.”
“We have a lot to play for, there’s a medal on the line and that means everything, no matter what color it is,” added Rapinoe, referring to Thursday’s bronze medal match against Australia.
“I think we (the players) need to look at ourselves and need to perform better, period,” she added. “We don’t have the juice because the ball is banging off our shins, and we’re not finding open passes, not doing the simple things.
“We can deep dive into analyzing, but there’s all the preparation and analyzing you can do and all the tactics — and then there’s everything else.
“You can’t put a name on everything else, but that’s what we were missing. It’s just the getting it done from players, and the players know that.
“We’ll bounce back from this, and this will make every one of those players in the locker room better.”
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