As upsetting and frustrating as the Olympic soccer semifinal between Canada and the U.S. was, it got the attention of a ton of people.
Canada lost 4-3 following two controversial calls by the Norwegian referee. It truly was shameful that she called Canuck goalie Erin McLeod for delay of game after McLeod took 10 seconds to take her goal kick. Nobody on the field or in the coaching ranks had ever been involved in a game when this was called.
The ensuing free kick hit Canadian defender Marie-Eve Nault on the arm and the Americans got a pk and did not miss. That tied the score with only 10 minutes left in regulation.
First, let’s look at the hand ball call.
If the ref deems that it was intentional then it becomes a penalty kick. In this case, it seems clear to everyone but the Norwegian that it was unintentional contact.
The fact that the ref did not call an earlier hand ball on a U.S. player in her penalty area makes this call even more infuriating.
But one thing that is not denied the Canadians is that they won the heart of a nation.
Trending on Twitter right after the game was news of this huge loss and then quickly support for the Canadian women who put their soul into the game.
One young man said he’ll never miss a women’s international game again.
Another left the beach and “got caught up” in the game,.
I agree, this match had me mesmerized in was so packed with action.
Another sent this Tweet: “Wanting to buy my own Norwegian soccer ref, I tried eBay & Kijiji and was unsurprised to find the last one was bought by USA Soccer.”
This was from Canadian defender Desiree Scott: “Canada Thank u for gettin behind us every step of the way! means the world. Podium still on our minds…”
Maybe Canada can write a happy ending (to a degree) by winning bronze.
Guaranteed that there will be a nation watching.