christine sinclair john hedman getty Christine Sinclair says ref wanted U.S soccer team to win in 2012 Summer Olympics semifinal matchThe women’s
soccer semifinal match between Canada and the U.S. was, by all accounts, a
thrilling event for both sides. But in the aftermath of their emotional loss,
all-time Canadian leading scorer Christine Sinclair (above) is alleging that referee
bias had the odds stacked against her team from the first kick.

we’re disappointed and upset. We felt that the referee took it away from us,
so, yes, we are disappointed,” the Canadian captain tells the AFP.
“We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel like it was taken from us. It’s a shame
in a game like that, which is so important, that the ref decided the result
before the game started.”

For those who
missed the thrilling match, Sinclair scored only the second hat-trick ever
achieved against a U.S. women’s team, putting Canada ahead three times. But
with the score tied in the second overtime period, Alex Morgan‘s header scored
the deciding goal. Sinclair says the only reason things even got to the point
where Morgan could win the game was because of a combination of calls that
pushed the match to extra time — particularly a time-wasting penalty against
Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

“[The referee] actually giggled and said nothing. Classy,”
Sinclair says of the penalty for holding the ball longer than six seconds,
which is rarely enforced. “In an important match it’s a disappointment that the
referee had such an impact on it. We feel cheated.”

Canadian coach
John Herdman (above) echoes Sinclair’s statements, telling the AP, “It felt like it was America and the
referee against [us].” Calling the referee’s decisions “bizarre” he adds, “If
the United States were honest, they’d know they got lucky.”

The match, held at the Old Trafford in Manchester, featured
123 minutes of back-and-forth soccer in front of 15,000 screaming – mostly
American – fans. Now, the Americans will advance to play Japan in the
gold-medal game, a rematch of the 2011 Women’s World Cup final that was won by
the Japanese.

“I need to wrap my head around about what just
happened,” U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo says of the win. “We tend to
make things interesting. There is something to be said about always finding a
way to win, finding a way to come back three times.”

Posted by:lcarroll