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Thorns in Tokyo: Sinclair and Canada advance to the gold medal match after defeating the U.S. 1-0

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Christine Sinclair will compete for a gold medal on Thursday.

USA v Canada: Women’s Football Semifinal - Olympics: Day 10 Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Christine Sinclair and Canada defeat the USWNT 1-0 and advance to the gold medal match to face the winner of Australia vs. Sweden.

Portland Thorns FC had five players feature in the United States vs. Canada Olympic semifinal. Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan started for the U.S. and Christine Sinclair started for Canada. Adrianna Franch was substituted on for Alyssa Naeher.

The U.S. started well. They got on the ball and pressed Canada well but they were unable to create any chances. Canada quickly figured out how to take advantage of their numerical superiority in midfield. The Canadians handled the U.S. press well and got control of the ball. Similarly, Canada were unable to carve out any chances in the first half.

In the 30th minute, the U.S.’s starting goalkeeper Naeher had to come off injured. She went down after a collision in the box while defending a Canadian corner kick. Naeher tried to continue but after taking a goal kick she immediately put her hand up to call for a sub. Franch replaced her, making her Olympics debut.

The U.S. started the second half on the front foot and pinned Canada back into their own half. They pushed the full backs higher and counter pressed which allowed the team to sustain waves of continuous pressure.

In the 65th minute, the U.S. were able to go forward dangerously with substitutes Christen Press and Carli Lloyd combining with Horan and Rose Lavelle. Horan played it to Lloyd in the box, who hit it first time. Stephanie Labbe tipped the shot over the crossbar.

Three minutes later. Megan Rapinoe took a corner kick. Julie Ertz flicked her header on target and Labbe made the save. Horan headed a shot on target as well but it didn’t hace the power or placement to test the Canadian keeper.

Canada were rewarded a penalty after a VAR review in the 73rd minute. Tierna Davidson kicked the back of Deanne Rose’s leg and Jessie Fleming stepped to the spot and converted past the diving Franch.

Lloyd fired a header off the crossbar in the 86th minute. The U.S. failed to test Labbe again and Canada defended well to see off the United States.

Canada will play Sweden on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 7:00 p.m. PST. The United States will take on Australia in the bronze medal match at 1:00 a.m. on the same day.