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Olympics 2012: Alex Morgan’s OT goal sends U.S. to gold medal match
Scores in final minute of injury time
Question of the Day
The Americans dominated possession in the early minutes, but then the U.S. defense did the unexplainable — it lost track of one of the top goal-scorers of all time.
Marie-Eve Nault played a ball ahead to Melissa Tancredi, who tapped a pass over to Sinclair. Sinclair then slalomed through the penalty area, maneuvering around defender Kelley O’Hara to beat goalkeeper Hope Solo with simple right-footer from 10 yards.
It was the first goal allowed by the U.S. in more the 360 minutes, since a pair of early scores by France in the Olympic opener two weeks ago. The U.S. also trailed at halftime for the first time in this tournament.
The Americans found an unconventional way to pull even early in the second half, with Rapinoe scoring directly on a corner kick. She curled the ball just inside the near post, glancing off the legs of defender Lauren Sesselmann and goalkeeper McLeod as it settled in the net.
Then came a dizzying sequence of three goals in six minutes. The Tancredi-Sinclair combo worked again, with Sinclair heading Tancredi’s cross just inside the post from 10 yards to put Canada ahead 2-1. Three minutes later, Rapinoe got her second, launching a right-footer from the edge of the area and off the post.
Wambach got even with Sinclair — and tied the game — with a penalty kick resulting from an unusual call: McLeod was whistled for holding the ball more than six seconds, giving the Americans an indirect free kick inside the area. Rapinoe took the kick, and it glanced off the arm of Nault. The referee awarded the spot kick, which Wambach converted off the left post in the 80th minute.
The game became a battle of attrition in extra time, with the Americans having the better of the chances. Wambach put a header off the crossbar in the 119th minute. The officials then declared there would be three minutes of injury time, just enough for Morgan to put one in and avoid the penalty kick shootout that Solo was already preparing to face.
“I don’t have much to say because I need to wrap my head around what just happened,” Solo said. “And that’s the truth of the matter. We tend to keep things interesting.”
By Michael P. Orsi
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