Match report as Great Britain Women secured top spot in Olympics Group E with a 1-1 draw with Canada; Adriana Leon gave Canada a 55th-minute lead; but Caroline Weir’s deflected strike gave Team GB a share of the spoils; Both sides wait to see who they will face in last eight at Tokyo 2020
Caroline Weir’s late deflected strike secured Great Britain Women top spot in Group E after a 1-1 draw with Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.
Team GB had already booked their place in the last eight thanks to previous wins over Chile and Japan and needed just a point to finish top of the group, but Adriana Leon’s 55th-minute strike looked to have condemned them to the runners-up spot.
However, Weir’s deflected strike five minutes from time secured the point they needed to go into the quarter-finals as group winners, where they will face Australia on Friday (kick off 10am).
Despite the late disappointment, the point also secured Canada a place in the quarter-finals and they will face Brazil, also on Friday morning (kick off 9am).
How Team GB secured top spot in Group E…
Canada, who needed a point to qualify for the last eight and a win to have any chance of toppoing the group, started brightly and Lucy Bronze had to be alert to clear Deanne Rose’s low cross into the penalty area.
However, Team GB grew into the game and began to take a grip of proceedings. Nikita Parris slid an inch-perfect pass through for Georgia Stanway, but the Man City forward, who tried to cut back onto her right foot, could not get a shot away as Jayde Riviere got back to make a crucial intervention.
Canada: Labbe, Buchanan, Gilles, Lawrence, Leon, Quinn, Riviere, Schmidt, Rose, Viens, Beckie.
Subs used: Fleming, Huitema, Prince, Grosso, Carle.
Great Britain: Roebuck, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Stokes, Ingle, Weir, Daly, Scott, Stanway, Parris.
Subs used: Little, White, Kirby.
It wasn’t long before Great Britain got in behind the Canadian defence again as Jill Scott picked out the run of Rachel Daly. This time, Daly got a shot away, but Ashley Lawrence got back to make a crucial block.
Just before the break Demi Stokes’ cross picked out Parris, but she failed to make a clean contact with her strike. The rebound almost fell kindly for Caroline Weir, but she could not get it under her control as the two sides went in goalless at the break.
Canada went close to a breakthrough straight after the interval as Ellie Roebuck’s poor pass picked out Leon on the edge of the penalty area. The Canada striker had an empty net to aim at, but she could not get the ball past Millie Bright, who made a crucial block.
Leon and Canada were not to be denied moments later, though. Lawrence’s low cross evaded everyone in the penalty area, picking out Leon at the far post, and she made no mistake with her finish to give her side the lead.
Team GB looked for a response and it almost came from Weir in the 68th minute. The Man City forward’s shot from an extremely tight angle beat Stephanie Labbe but the ball clipped the underside of the crossbar and the post before bouncing out to safety.
Riise’s side were not be denied, though, and Weir did finally get her goal as her long-range effort struck substitute Nichelle Prince and wrong-footed Labbe to find the back of the net and secure the point Great Britain needed for top spot.
What the managers said…
Canada boss Beverly Priestman said: “On our day I definitely think we put out better performances the better the opposition. Our job is getting ready for the next game, one game at a time, but we absolutely believe we can get on that podium.”
Great Britain boss Hege Riise: “I believe strongly in this team, a great team always finds a way to come back and we did. Closer to the finish we started to get some momentum, luckily we were good enough to get the goal.
“It was an important goal (from Weir), we top the group, we’re staying here and have a little bit more rest so we are happy.
“There are always things you want to improve on, we have played three games against three good opponents and have performed better and better. We haven’t been together that long so we’ll improve every game.
“Overall, we looked strong and confident and that will be important going forward.”
Who will Great Britain and Canada face in the quarter-finals?
Great Britain will face Australia on Friday morning; kick-off 10am.
Meanwhile, Canada’s second-place finish sees them face Brazil, also on Friday morning; kick-off 9am.
Polish Olympian auctions medal to pay for a baby’s heart surgery
An Olympic silver medalist from Poland put her medal up for auction to help pay for an 8-month-old baby’s heart surgery, but the winning bidder turned the tables and let her keep it.Javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk won one of her country’s 14 medals in Tokyo, and she was determined to help a stranger in some way, according to her Facebook page.
Andrejczyk, 25, discovered a fundraiser for little Miloszek Malysa, who suffers from a rare heart condition and will need surgery to survive. She decided to auction the medal and donate the money to Miloszek’s family.
Polish convenience store chain Zabka Polska ponied up 125,000 dollars as the winning bid, and then said in a Facebook post that it would let Andrejczyk keep the medal.
The fundraiser for Miloszek on a Polish GoFundMe-type site was more than 90-per-cent complete as of Tuesday night.
Andrejczyk finished fourth in the javelin competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics. In 2018, she was diagnosed with cancer, but battled back to win silver in Tokyo.
Ghana secure 4x100m relay final spot with National Record
Ghana’s men’s 4x100m relay team booked their spot in the finals of the men’s 4x100m relays with a blistering run in their heat that secured the quartet a new national record in the event.
The quartet of Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati, Emmanuel Yeboah and Joseph Paul Amoah, finished 5th in a very fast heat with a time of 38.08s.
But despite their 5th place finish, their time was fast enough to secure them a place in Friday’s final.
The Olympic debutants slashed 0.04s off the previous record which stood at 38.12s, set at the 1997 World Championships in Greece by the quartet of Abu Duah, Eric Nkansah, Aziz Zakari and Emmanuel Tuffour.
Safo-Antwi got off the blocks quickly before Azamati’s blistering run on the back straight set up Emmanuel Yeboah for a smooth bend.
When he handed off to Joseph Paul Amoah, Ghana looked in the mix of a very competitive field that included the United States, Canada, China and Italy but the Coppin State University student held on to finish ahead of the Americans who were fast closing in on him.
China won Heat 2; Italy, with the individual 100m champion Marcell Jacobs finished 2nd; and 200m champion Andre De Grasse powered Canada to a 3rd place finish to secure the automatic places.
Germany, who finished 4th, also booked their ticket along with 5th placed Ghana.
The men’s 4x100m final is slated for 13:50GMT on Friday.
Tokyo 2020: Elaine Thompson-Herah completes sprint double after winning 200m final
Elaine Thompson-Herah confirmed her place among the pantheon of sprint greats as she secured an unprecedented women’s 100m-200m double-double with a sensational victory over the longer distance in Tokyo.
The 29-year-old Jamaican surged home in 21.53 seconds, just .19 seconds off Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing world record, to back up her individual golds from Rio 2016.
It is the second-fastest time in history.
Trailing in her draft, Namibian teenager Christine Mboma, who was barred from her favoured 400m two weeks before the Games on account of her naturally high testosterone levels, took silver in 21.81.
Gabrielle Thomas, the American champion, took bronze in 21.87.