Canada won gold in the women’s Olympic soccer tournament on Friday after a 3-2 sudden death penalty shootout win against Sweden, following a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time.
Stina Blackstenius put Sweden ahead in the first half before Jessie Fleming equalized with her second penalty of the tournament.
Sweden had won all five of their games in Tokyo entering the final, and the European team started the stronger of the two sides, controlling the ball and peppering the Canadian goal with shots.
Some lovely link-up play between Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani and Blackstenius saw Peter Gerhardsson’s side break the deadlock on 34 minutes.
Sweden went into the break looking confident, but Canada came out in the second half with renewed energy.
Their tenacity was rewarded on 64 minutes when Amanda Ilestedt brought Christine Sinclair down in the penalty area.
Initially, the referee waved away the challenge but after a lengthy VAR review, she awarded the spot-kick.
Fleming, who had scored a penalty against the United States women’s national team in the semifinal, was handed the ball by Sinclair and sent Hedvig Lindahl in the wrong direction to bring the sides equal.
With the match ending 1-1 after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time and then penalties.
Canada had finished second in Group E behind Great Britain earlier in the tournament before earning knockout stage wins against Brazil and the eventual-bronze medallists the United States.