In perhaps the most enthralling women's soccer match in history, the U.S. advanced over Canada in an overtime thriller on Monday at Old Trafford in Manchester to reach the gold-medal match, 4-3.
Alex Morgan scored the game winner off a header from Heather O'Reilly's cross in the dying moments of overtime, as the match ended in classic fashion. Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick for Canada, while Megan Rapinoe scored two fantastic goals for the U.S. in a seesaw affair.
For every Sinclair goal, the U.S. responded.
Each of Sinclair's goals were world class. The 29-year-old scored in the 22nd, 67th and 73rd minute, and the U.S. defense was in no position to hold off the forward's strikes.
With the U.S. trailing 3-2, Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod made a key mistake in the second half, as she held onto the ball for too long. It led to an indirect kick in the penalty box that resulted in Marie-Eve Nault's questionable hand ball. Abby Wambach evened the match with the penalty-kick score.
The North American showdown was particularly intense, as both sides played with a great deal of intensity. There were multiple physical plays, as Canada showed more grit than the Americans probably expected.
"We didn't anticipate a game like this," said Wambach.
The Americans were the more aggressive squad for a majority of overtime. The U.S. had a great chance to score in the final minutes, but Wambach's header hit the crossbar.
The U.S. will face Japan on Thursday in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup Final.