Fri, September 20, 2013

Christine Sinclair's stunning game lost amid Olympic soccer controversy

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Canada's Christine Sinclair celebrates scoring her third goal against the U.S. with her coach John Herdman in the women's semifinal soccer match against at the London 2012 Olympic Games Monday. The U.S. won 4-3 in controversial fashion.


LONDON - Controversy over the officiating in Canada’s loss to the U.S. in Monday’s Olympic semifinal will cast a long shadow for Canadian soccer fans.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t engulf the performance of Canadian captain Christine Sinclair.

Her three-goal showing on such a huge stage — literally and figuratively since the game was played at Old Trafford, the legendary home of Manchester United — should go down as one of the great performances in Canada’s Olympic history.

“What an unbelievable athlete. You come into a game like this and score three goals? That’s a moment in Canadian sports history,” said Canadian coach John Herdman. “That’s special. I don’t know how many times she’s done that before or other athletes have done something of that magnitude against all odds tonight, and that’s what she was playing against.

“It felt like it was America and the ref against you tonight and they just stayed focused. Christine, to come a score a hat-trick in a semifinal at an Olympic Games against the biggest rivals and not to come away with something, something’s just not right about it.”

Unfortunately for Canada, the talk after the game was less about Sinclair’s remarkable performane and more about the controversial calls by Norwegian referee Chrisitana Pedersen.

“We feel like we didn’t lose. We feel like it was taken from us,” said Sinclair. “It’s a shame in a game like that, which is so important, that the ref decided the result before the game started.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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