Women's World Cup: Sweden eliminates Canada thanks to a miraculous save and a single goal

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Canada out-possessed Sweden nearly 60-40 in their Women’s World Cup round of 16 match on Monday, but time with the ball isn’t enough if you can’t put it in the net.

One goal and one save was the difference in this game, a 1-0 victory for Sweden that sends Canada back to the Great White North.

Both teams demonstrated their defensive prowess in the first half. Canada handled the ball more and was stopped by Sweden at every turn, though Canada also played some spectacular defense of its own.

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The first half was all about the defense, but the dynamic changed in the second half. Canada had opportunity after opportunity, but couldn’t find the back of the net. After a Sweden foul in the box the 52rd minute, Canada’s Christine Sinclair took the penalty kick and tried to bend it into the upper right corner to no avail.

Barely a minute later, the game changed completely. Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani got control of the ball and played through Stina Blackstenius, who touched it past Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe and into the unoccupied net milliseconds before they collided into heap. That strike broke the stalemate, and gave Sweden the advantage.

There were other chances for the Canadians. They had a corner kick in the 65th minute that they kept in front of Sweden’s net, but no one could get off a clean shot. A minute later, they had a huge chance to tie the game on a penalty kick after a Sweden handball, but they couldn’t convert it — keeper Hedvig Lindahl blocked the shot with her fingertips.

A free kick in the 87th minute almost doubled Sweden’s lead, but Desiree Scott’s orange-sneakered foot blocked it at the last second. Even with nine minutes of stoppage time added, Canada couldn’t find an equalizer

Sweden will now face Germany on Saturday in a rematch of the gold medal game at the 2016 Olympics, which the Germans won 2-1.

Stina Blackstenius celebrates with teammates after scoring against Canada on Monday in Paris. (Getty)
Stina Blackstenius celebrates with teammates after scoring against Canada on Monday in Paris. (Getty)

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