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Canada beats Sweden in shoot-out, wins gold in women's soccer

Canada claimed its first-ever Olympic gold in women's soccer and first Olympic gold in soccer overall since 1904 with a win over Sweden in the 2020 Summer Games gold medal match Friday in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Franck Robichon/EPA-EFE
Canada claimed its first-ever Olympic gold in women's soccer and first Olympic gold in soccer overall since 1904 with a win over Sweden in the 2020 Summer Games gold medal match Friday in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Franck Robichon/EPA-EFE

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Julia Grosso clinched Canada's first-ever Olympic gold medal in women's soccer with a sudden-death penalty kick against Sweden in the 2020 Summer Games finale Friday in Yokohama, Japan.

Grosso, 20, stepped up to the penalty spot after Canada and Sweden tied through the first five rounds of penalties.

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She took a deep breath and struck the ball with her left foot. The low shot went toward the left side of the net. Sweden goalie Hedvig Lindahl got a hand on the ball, but it bounced behind her and into the goal.

The 3-2 win in the penalty shoot-out gave Canada its first gold medal in soccer since the men's team won the tournament at the 1904 Summer Games.

Striker Stina Blackstenius gave Sweden an early lead with a score in the 34th minute. She scored off a first-touch shot on a pass from fellow forward Kosovare Asllani. Sweden carried the lead through halftime.

Canada's Jessie Fleming equalized on a penalty kick in the 67th minute. The right wing, who also scored the lone goal in Canada's semifinal win over the United States, fired the shot into the left side of the net.

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Sweden did not register a shot on target through the second half and most of extra time, but held off several Canada attacks to secure the penalty session.

Asllani hit the right post on Sweden's first penalty. Fleming answered with a shot into the left corner. Sweden's Nathalie Bjorn followed with a successful attempt.

Lindahl then saved Ashley Lawrence's attempt for Canada to tie the session.

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Olivia Schough gave Sweden a 2-1 edge in penalties when she made the next attempt. Canada's Vanessa Gilles followed with a shot off the crossbar. Canada keeper Stephanie Labbe saved the next attempt by Sweden's Anna Anvegard.

Lindahl responded with a save on a shot by Canada's Adriana Leon, but Sweden's Caroline Seger hit her shot too high on the next attempt. Deanne Rose tied the session when she made Canada's next penalty with a shot into the top right corner.

Labbe saved Sweden's final attempt, taken by Jonna Anderson. Grosso hit the next shot into the left corner to seal the victory.

The U.S. women joined Canada and Sweden on the podium with a win over Australia in the bronze medal match Thursday in Kashima, Japan.

Mexico beat Japan 3-1 for the men's bronze medal match Friday in Saitama, Japan. Alexis Vega, Sebastian Cordova and Johan Vasquez scored for Mexico.

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Brazil battles Spain in the men's gold medal match at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday on USA.

Tokyo Olympics: Scenes from Canada's win over U.S. in women's soccer

The United States' Kelley O'Hara consoles Carli Lloyd as she buries her face in her hands after Canada defeated Team USA in the soccer semifinal match on August 2. Canada defeated the United States 1-0 on a penalty kick. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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