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Six ‘did you see that?!’ moments from the Olympic quarterfinals

Aug 3, 2012, 10:38 PM EST

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France, the U.S., Japan, and Canada all advance to the semifinals while gifting us with some unforgettable moments. Let’s relive them together, shall we?

Alex Morgan’s frightening clash with Jenny Bindon.

Probably the most widely discussed moment of the round, New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon and Alex Morgan were involved in a truly terrifying collision outside the penalty box. Stretchers were summoned as both players remained motionless on the pitch. Calls for a foul and/or subsequent card went unheeded as referee Jesica Di Iorio whistled for play to resume. Both players ultimately regained their bearings but still looked listless even after the final whistle blew.

Morgan’s hard-earned assist.

Before clattering into Jenny Bindon, Alex Morgan provided Abby Wambach one of the assists of the tournament. Morgan displayed her much-improved hold-up play for the second time in as many matches. She warded off her defenders just long enough to send a wonderfully weighted ball Wambach’s way. It marks Wambach’s team-leading fourth goal Morgan’s team-tying third assist.

The celebratory cartwheels.

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The USWNT added another goal celebration to its ever expanding repertoire. In an apparent tribute to gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas, the team feted Wambach’s goal by launching into cartwheels. The spontaneous show of calisthenics failed to get unanimous praise, though. New Zealand coach Tony Readings voiced his displeasure, saying “I wouldn’t have done that.” Tribute or affront to the Olympic spirit? For one, it helps having something to celebrate.

Sydney Leroux’s reaction after scoring.

The U.S. was three minutes away from securing a place in the semifinals, but substitute Sydney Leroux officially put the contest to bed. She made a blistering run down the right flank that bamboozled the New Zealand defense before powering in a shot that beat Jenny Bindon (who was somehow still standing after moment no. 1). What followed was unbridled euphoria, starting with Leroux’s shell-shocked expression and the ‘oh…my…God!’ exclamation to pal Lauren Cheney. First ever Olympic goal? The moment’s all yours, Syd. Own it.

Canada’s .GIF-able goals.

The Canadians delivered the shock of the tournament by knocking out well-to-do hosts Great Britain thanks to a pair of stupendous goals. 21-year-old Jonelle Filigno got the upset underway in the 16th minute when she dispatching a scorching half-volley past Great Britain goalkeeper Karen Bardsley. Christine Sinclair would go on to supply the knockout blow. Her potent free kick evaded the Great British defense and put the match out of reach. The goals were the first Great Britain conceded of the tournament and would ultimately be the last. The Sinclair goal in all its glory:

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Shinobu Ohno’s skillful goal that sent Brazil packing.

World champions Japan withstood Brazil’s increasingly cynical challenges with undisturbed repose. A goal down with 20 minutes left, Brazil resorted to hopelessly thuggish tactics in an attempt to stop play. Japan would have the last say with a stunning second goal. Shinobu Ohno deftly controlled a pass from teammate Yuki Ogimi, made space for herself and rocketed a shot past goalkeeper Andreia. The goal sees Japan progress to the semifinals and sends Brazil back home.

  1. starcityfan - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Most of the referees over on BigSoccer seem to think that Bindon should have gotten a red card for obstructing Morgan while being the last defender. I don’t see it, but then I’m not a referee.

    Not sure why Canada over Great Britain is considered such an upset. Canada ranks higher than England (which GB mostly was) in the FIFA rankings.

    As for “Did you see that?” regarding Ohno’s goal: no, none of us watching NBC saw that live because NBC at the time was showing commercials instead of the game.

    • Steve Davis - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      Thing is, I thought it was a foul, because a trip is a trip regardless of intent. But red card? Nah. It’s not like Bindon did anything like trip Morgan with her hand or leg; she just had her head in the wrong place. There was enough cover from the trailing defender that you could say Bindon wasn’t actually the last DF. Either way, in my mind, foul but no red card.

  2. dmacirish - Aug 4, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    love the article but will have to look for another one to read – need to find answers to my questions about the first sentence saying Brazil moves on and the last moment being Japan sending them packing. hate being the editor but…..

    • Steve Davis - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Fixed. Just a content glitch. It happens.

  3. joeyt360 - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    In general, there is no such thing as a ‘last defender’ rule. The DOGSO red card is only applicable when you can assume a quality shot on goal would have happened without the foul. There are other factors like whether the suffering player was facing the goal and how far away she was that come into play besides just ‘last defender.’

    • starcityfan - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      US Soccer’s advice to referees says the following:

      (b) Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick. In order for a player or substitute to be sent off for denying an “obvious goalscoring opportunity by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick” (number 5 under the seven send-off offenses), four elements must be present:
      • Number of Defenders—not more than one defender between the foul and the goal, not counting the defender who committed the foul
      • Distance to goal—the closer the foul is to the goal, the more likely it is an obvious goalscoring opportunity
      • Distance to ball—the attacker must have been close enough to the ball at the time of the foul to continue playing the ball
      • Direction of play—the attacker must have been moving toward the goal at the time the foul was committed If any element is missing, there can be no send off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Further, the presence of each of these elements must be “obvious” in order for the send-off to be appropriate under this provision of Law 12.

      But this is just advice and not part of the rules, and the advice applies to US soccer only.

  4. geoffkorb - Aug 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I’m pretty sure Leroux burned down the left flank to score her goal, unless I was watching in a mirror.

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