Canada's Diana Matheson celebrates her bronze-medal winning goal Thursday.

Canada's Diana Matheson celebrates her bronze-medal winning goal Thursday.

Canadian women’s team wins soccer bronze at Summer Olympics

Women's national squad makes good on coach's promise of a medal after beating France 1-0 Thursday morning in London.

Canada’s national women’s soccer team has won a bronze medal at the London Summer Olympics, just as their head coach, Semiahmoo Peninsula resident John Herdman, guaranteed they would.

Early Thursday – the game started at 5 a.m. Pacific time – Canada hit the pitch against France, and though they were sluggish at times and outplayed for long stretches by the French side, the Canadian crew held strong, and the game stayed tied 0-0 until injury time, when Diana Matheson scored the winning goal.

The medal win was Canada’s first in a Summer Olympics team sport since Canada’s men’s basketball team finished on the podium in 1936. Canada’s women’s soccer team has never medalled before.

The win was a bit of redemption for the national team, which lost a heartbreaking – and controversial – semifinal game to the No. 1-ranked U.S. on Monday. In that game, Canada led for all but 30 seconds, but was undone after a rarely called penalty led to the American tying goal, and in overtime, U.S. veteran Abby Wambach won the game on a header.

After the loss, Herdman called the officiating “bizarre” and later added that “the job is not done… we’ll take a medal from this tournament.”

Herdman is one of two Peninsula residents with the women’s program; longtime local soccer executive Maeve Glass is in London as the team’s equipment manager.

Later Thursday, the U.S. team edged Japan 2-1 to win the gold medal.

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