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Tokyo Olympics: Canada beat Sweden to claim women’s football gold

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Canada secured their first Olympic gold medal in women’s football with a nervy 3-2 win on penalty kicks over Sweden after a 1-1 draw on Friday.

Twenty-year-old Julia Grosso scored the winning penalty kick in sudden death after both sides had missed three penalty kicks in a row.

“I can’t even describe this right now,” said 38-year-old captain Christine Sinclair, the world’s record international scorer, after Canada took bronze in 2012 and 2016.

“We came here with the goal of changing the colour of the medal and we landed on top of the podium. Never say die.”

Sweden, beaten finalists against Germany at Rio 2016, took the lead on 34 minutes through forward Stina Blackstenius.

But just like she did in the semi-final win over four-times Champions U.S, Canada’s Jessie Fleming levelled with a penalty kick midway through the second half.

Sweden almost won it late in normal time but the match went to 30 minutes extra, where the Scandinavians again came close when Lina Hurtig headed wide twice.

Jordyn Huitema also nodded past the post in a good chance for Canada.

Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani then hit the post with the first penalty kick in the shootout but Ashley Lawrence’s weak effort for Canada was easily saved by Hedvig Lindahl.

Vanessa Gilles then struck the bar, Anna Anvegard and Adriana Leon had efforts saved and Sweden’s Caroline Seger blasted over with gold on the line as nerves took over.

Jonna Andersson then had her penalty kick repelled, leaving Grosso to be the hero as the ball just went in after Lindahl’s attempted save.

The triumph meant Canada’s Quinn becomes the first openly transgender person to win an Olympic gold.

The game was switched from the morning to the evening because of the heat, which also meant a move to Yokohama from the Tokyo Olympic Stadium so it would not clash with the athletics.

The U.S took women’s bronze medal on Thursday with a 4-3 win over Australia.

Mexico earlier claimed the bronze medal in men’s football with a Sebastian Cordova inspired 3-1 hammering of hosts Japan.

Cordova opened the scoring with a 13th minute penalty kick, after video review determined Wataru Endo had handled inside the penalty box, and he set up two further goals from set-pieces.

His free-kick was headed in by defender Johan Vasquez in the 22nd minute and Alexis Vega met a corner-kick just before the hour mark to power home a third.

Japan left it way too late to rally, in spite of Kaoru Mitoma’s solo goal with 12 minutes remaining.

It means they were not capable of winning a first men’s Olympic football medal since their 1968 bronze medal —— earned by beating Mexico when they were hosts.

The Mexicans thoroughly deserved their revenge and second medal in the event after winning the gold medal in 2012.

Brazil, winners in 2016, take on Spain for men’s gold medal on Saturday.

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