Canada’s women’s soccer team less than an hour ago lost an agonizing 4-3 extra time decision to the number one ranked Americans in the third minute of extra time.

Canadian players, staff

The last minute loss came after the Canadians had taken a one goal lead three times in the game only to see the U.S. come back each time and tie it – the third time after two very perplexing decisions by the Norwegian referee┬áChristina Pederson who first called Erin McLeod for time wasting (the correct call but one that is almost never called) and then a penalty for a handball from the resulting free kick.

The result – a game Canada was within minutes of winning was headed to extra time and a familiar feeling of dread crept over me as I watched a team that has fallen short of many objectives over the years sometimes because of tactics, sometimes fitness and perhaps more often many would say mental toughness.

In year’s past I suspect the U.S. would have scored once or twice in extra time and cruised to the win but not this time. This Canadian team show a toughness and depth of all kinds that we have not seen in the past and battled the heavily favoured Americans to a near stand still only to lose in the final moments.