Canada wins epic Olympic final after USWNT heartbreak

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Both teams pulled off upsets of the top-ranked U.S. women’s soccer team earlier in the Tokyo Olympics, but only one could take home the gold medal.

Canada seized the first Olympic gold in women’s soccer in the country’s history with a 3-2 victory in penalty kicks over Sweden following a 1-1 draw through extra time in the championship match.

Canada had won the bronze medal in 2012 in London and in 2016 in Rio, while Sweden also took the silver in ’16 after eliminating the Americans in the quarterfinals.

Canada’s Julia Grosso, a 20-year-old midfielder who plays collegiately at Texas, buried the game-winner past Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the sixth round of PKs.

Sweden led 2-1 after four rounds, but Caroline Seger’s potential clincher sailed over the crossbar. Deanna Rose forced the sudden-death round by beating Lindahl, before Canadian goalie Stephanie Labbe denied Jonna Anderson’s bid for the right post to set up Grosso’s winner.

The elusive gold medal caps the career of 38-year-old Canadian star forward Christine Sinclair, the sport’s all-time international leader in goals with 187. She was removed from Friday’s match late in regulation.

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Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius had scored in the 34th minute, before Canada’s Jessie Fleming leveled the match with a penalty kick in the 67th minute. Fleming also had converted a PK in the 74th minute in Canada’s 1-0 victory over the USWNT in the semifinals on Monday.

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