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Canada beats France to win bronze in women's soccer at London Games

Canada beats France to win bronze in women's soccer at London Games

LONDON - Winning bronze never felt so good.

Diana Matheson scored in the 92nd minute as Canada's women's soccer team beat France 1-0 in the bronze-medal game at the London Olympics on Thursday.

After being forced to play defence for most of the second half, Canada capitalized on a rare opportunity when Matheson's shot off a deflection beat goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and stunned the French.

"It feels amazing. It feels unreal, it feels like a dream," said Matheson.

The bronze is Canada's first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since winning silver in men's basketball in 1936.

The result should help Canada recover from an emotional 4-3 loss to the United States in a semifinal marred by controversial officiating.

France, which ousted Canada from last year's Women's World Cup in a dominating 4-0 performance, controlled play with several quality chances in the second half including shots that hit the crossbar and the post.

But Matheson, a five-foot midfielder from Oakville, Ont., scored to lift Canada onto the podium and give the team something to build on ahead of 2015 when it hosts the Women's World Cup.

Elsewhere at the Olympics:

— Montreal diver Meaghan Benfeito was second overall in the women's 10-metre platform semifinals. She was joined in the final later Thursday by teammate Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., who was eighth overall.

— Tonya Verbeek advanced to the gold medal bout in women's freestyle wrestling. The veteran from Thorold, Ont., defeated Castilloj Renteria of Colombia in the 55-kilogram semifinal. Calgary's Leah Callahan lost her opening match in the 72-kilo category to Burmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia and was later eliminated.

— Emilie Fournel of Lachine, Que., was sixth in the B final of the women's K-1 500 kayak race. The result placed Fournel 14th overall.

— Toronto's Zsofia Balazs finished 18th in the women's open-water swimming event at Hyde Park.

— Damian Warner of London, Ont., was fourth overall in the men's decathlon with three events remaining. Warner finished sixth in his 110-metre hurdles heat, then had a personal-best throw of 45.90 metres to finish second in his discus group.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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