Canadian women lose semifinal, will play Brazil for Olympic soccer bronze

Melanie Behringer and Sara Daebritz scored to help Germany avenge a loss to Canada in pool play with a 2-0 victory in a womens Olympic soccer semifinal on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Fall 2-0 to No. 2-ranked Germany, which plays Sweden for gold medal

Canada's Sophie Schmidt and Ashley Lawrence comfort each other following Tuesday's 2-0 semifinal loss to Germany in Olympic women's soccer. Germany will play Sweden for a gold medal while the Canadians meet Brazil for bronze. (Leo Correa/Associated Press)

By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

Melanie Behringer and Sara Daebritz scored to help Germany avenge a loss to Canada in pool play with a 2-0 victory in a women's Olympic soccer semifinal on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Germany will play for a gold medal on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET against Sweden, which defeated Brazil 1-0 in a penalty shootout in Tuesday's other semifinal. The Canadians and Brazilians will meet in Friday's bronze-medal match at noon ET (watch live on, the CBC Rio 2016 app and on CBC TV).

The two teams know each other well, splitting a two-game exhibition series in Canada prior to the Olympics.

  Canadian coach John Herdman told CBC Sports he was "gutted" for his players.

"I thought they worked hard tonight, they've given it their all and they came up short," he said.

  "We always seem to do things the hard way," he added. referring to Canada's tough road to bronze four years ago at the London Olympics.

Tuesday's loss was the first in Rio for the 10th-ranked Canadians, who went 3-0-0 in pool play before downing No. 3 France 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

Germany improved to 13-1 versus Canada, dating back to 1994, and has outscored its opponent 41-15 in that span.

The Germans won a bronze medal at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. They have a chance at an Olympic soccer double with the men facing Nigeria in Wednesday's semifinal.

Canada's best scoring chance on Tuesday came in the 77th minute when midfielder Diana Matheson, from in close, drilled a shot off the right arm of German goalkeeper Almuth Schult.

Matheson entered the game for Rhian Wilkinson shortly after Daebritz's insurance goal in the 59th minute.

Behringer scored her second goal of the tournament against Canada, both on penalty kicks, beating Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé under the crossbar in the 21st minute after defender Kadeisha Buchanen was issued a yellow card after tripping the German midfielder during a foot race.

Buchanen didn't play against Germany earlier in the tourney as the Brampton, Ont., native was serving a one-game ban for yellow card accumulation.

On Tuesday, Germany was simply more calm, composed and consistent in its possession game, particularly in the first half, than earlier in the tournament.

Canada matched up well physically with the Germans, but looked nervous defensively early on and wasn't as creative in the attacking third compared to its previous games in Rio.

No more cautious play, says Herdman

"They hit us on the counterattack when we were opening up and trying to get a goal and they got away with a penalty as well. That's just football, stuff happens," Herdman said.

He added Canada wouldn't play cautious in the bronze-medal match against Brazil.

"We'll do our best again, Canada, to get you a medal," said Herdman.

The Canadians did have a few scoring chances in the first half against Germany.

In the 12th minute, Janine Beckie headed Ashley Lawrence's cross into the side netting. And in the final two minutes of the half, Buchanan's header beat Schult but was cleared off the goal line by a German player.

Beckie was also unmarked at the far post in the 43rd minute but Christine Sinclair's cross didn't make it to her.

Canadian fullback Allysha Chapman, whose shoulder popped out in Friday's quarter-final win over France, was not deemed sufficiently recovered to start. Veteran Rhian Wilkinson, earning her 180th cap, replaced her with Ashley Lawrence on the other side. Josee Belanger, the fourth fullback on the roster, was suspended due to yellow card accumulation.


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