If so, I don't need to bore you with the details. Canada won 1-0 yesterday. Diana Matheson scored the goal. One doesn't need to make comparisons with Sydney Crosby's winner to explain how big it is, even if Brian Williams seems to think he does. Enough of Canada's sports writers and media have taken their crack at explaining this team that surely several will have done it better than I can.
Instead, I want to talk about Desiree Scott.
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Given the scenario it is not too going too far to say that Desiree Scott's goal-line clearance (with the same knee that I feared had been shattered in an extra-time collision during the USA match) was as a big a factor in deciding the outcome as Matheson's moment.
It was also somehow appropriate. Desiree Scott was excellent throughout the tournament: frequently singled out by Jason de Vos for praise for her tenacity and defensive awareness. Yet her one significant misstep was leaving the post on a corner kick against the USA that resulted in their first goal of the match.
It's hard not to be biased towards Scott. Like me she hails from Winnipeg (Says her twitter profile: "Born & Raised In Winnipeg, MB and Proudly Rep my city!"), one of few national teamers of either gender to do so during my 12 years or so of paying attention to these teams. And although I was frequently miscast as a fullback in my years of youth and young adult soccer, I was most successful when played as a deep lying destroyer/holding midfielder, the same role that Scott plays. I notice what these players do.
And Scott plays that role like nobody else I've seen in the women's game. Although her goal-saving clearance was vital, one play stood out for me. Later in the second half, after one of Canada's few forays into France's end, a turnover resulted in a French counter, with numbers. Scott made a breathtaking 40-yard sprint to cover the left-back spot and ease the Frenchwoman off the ball. She ended the moment of danger before it even became apparent to most, like she had done so many times in this tournament.
Quite simply, she is aware. When I watched this team during the Olympic Qualifiers I made the comparison between Desiree Scott and Terry Dunfield, based on the work-rate and role of both players. With apologies to Terry (here's lookin' at you!) that is grossly unfair to Scott. He is perhaps Canada's 9th or 10th best midfielder. She is possibly the best defensive midfielder in the women's game. He gets "stuck in", as the Brits like to say. So does Scott. But she does it without earning a yellow card every 25 minutes.
Like every Canadian I salute Matheson for her great career and her fantastic winner. Hats off to Christine Sinclair, the best female player in the world. And tip of the hat to John Herdman, the man who doesn't get a medal but who turned it all around. And to the whole team.
But here's a Winnipeg shout-out to the baddest little destroyer around.
Update: Does it get more Winnipeg than this? Olympian's mom misses magic goal (Winnipeg Free Press)