Canada Beats Sweden in Shootout to Win Gold Medal in 2021 Olympic Women's Soccer

Adam WellsAugust 6, 2021

Canada's Deanne Rose, right, and Sweden's Nathalie Bjorn battle for the ball during the women's final soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
AP Photo/Andre Penner

The Canadian women's soccer team has won gold at the Olympics for the first time ever. 

Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 in a shootout in the women's gold-medal match on Friday.

Julia Grosso's goal on Canada's sixth attempt was the difference. Her left-footed shot bounced off the arm of Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the net for the win. 

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

FOR THE FIRST TIME - CANADA HAS WON GOLD IN WOMEN'S SOCCER! 🥇<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/nj0TwLt8Z9">pic.twitter.com/nj0TwLt8Z9</a>

After Jessie Fleming scored on the first shot, the Canadians missed their next three attempts. Nathalie Bjorn and Olivia Schough converted back-to-back attempts that put Sweden up 2-1 heading into the third round. 

Deanne Rose, the fifth shooter for Canada, converted on a shot in the right corner of the net to keep the match going. 

This marked the first time ever that the women's Olympic gold-medal match has been decided by penalty kicks since being added to the event list in 1996. Only three gold-medal matches went to extra time before this year (2000, 2004, 2008). 

Stina Blackstenius' goal late in the first half off an assist from Kosovare Asllani put Sweden up 1-0. It was the first regulation goal allowed by Canada in the tournament since July 27 against Great Britain. 

Keeper Notes @keepernotes

Stina Blackstenius scores the opening goal of the gold medal game, putting Sweden up 1-0 in the 34th.<br><br>Her goal is the 100th goal of this women's tournament!<br><br>And she ends Canada's shutout streak of 249 minutes, longest of the tourney.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SWEvCAN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SWEvCAN</a>

Sweden's attack did a good job of keeping the ball away from Canada and preserving that lead until midway through the second half. 

After a VAR review confirmed a penalty on Sweden, Fleming converted a penalty kick to tie the score in the 67th minute. Her PK in the semifinals was the difference in Canada's 1-0 win over the United States. 

Per Canada Soccer, Fleming is the third Canadian women's player in history to convert penalties in back-to-back matches (Charmaine Hooper in 2000, Christine Sinclair in 2012). 

In the final minutes of extra time, Sweden had a close call at the Canadian net. Jonna Andersson's pass was deflected, and Hanna Bennison attempted a header in front of goal that was broken up. 

Despite the heartbreaking finish, Sweden still leaves Tokyo with a silver medal for the second consecutive Olympics after finishing outside the top three in the previous five Games. 

Canada has medaled in each of the past three Olympics in this event. It previously won bronze in 2012 and 2016.