Canada 1-0 France: Schmidt sends Canada into the semi-finals

A similar score-line sent Canada into the final four at France's expense.

Canada 1-0 France: Schmidt sends Canada into the semi-finals
Image credit: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images
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Canada: (4-3-3) Labbe; Chapman (Belanger 45+1'), Buchanan, Zadorsky, Lawrence; Matheson (Rose 69'), Scott, Schmidt (Quinn 81'); Fleming, Sinclair, Beckie.
France: (4-2-3-1) Bouhaddi; Houara D'H, Renard, Mbock Bathy, Karchaoui (Lavogez 84'); Henry, Bussaglia (Cadamuro 62'); Diani (Thomis 71'), Abily, Majri; Le Sommer.
SCORE: 1-0, Schmidt 56'.
REFEREE: Claudia Umpierrez (URU). Booked: Buchanan (49'), Schmidt (57'), Henry (85').

A solitary Sophie Schmidt strike was enough to seal Canada's passage into the semi finals of Rio 2016.

They laid a fairly poor France showing to rest when the midfielder volleyed home on the hour mark, meaning Schmidt's side now face Germany in the last four.

Drab first half

Canada, who belted out the national anthem with broad smiles on their faces, took to the task at hand with similar verve. Allysha Chapman did very well to keep a stray ball in play and then whip a cross into the area, which found the incoming Christine Sinclair. Unfortunately for the skipper, her shot was narrowly wide.

France struggled to get going in the early stages, with the US' departure from the Olympics perhaps playing on the minds of their golden generation that this could be the chance to win a major tournament. Eugenie Le Sommer almost stole a march on Ashley Lawrence, though the latter tracked back fantastically well to get a tackle in.

The first half of the opening period was much the same, with the French doing their utmost to thread a ball into the channel to free Le Sommer. Griedge Mbock Bathy had the best chance in what could be described as a sparing spell, rising highest to meet a corner. She did, however, fail to make clean contact and her header flashed wide.

Despite the lack of chances, it wasn't for a lack of effort. Le Sommer was constantly hauled to the floor by the Canadian defence, yet Claudia Umpierrez seemed oblivlous to their actions; protest followed protest but still no decision came. At the very end of the half, Chapman had to be replaced by Joseé Belanger after a nasty knock to the head.

Schmidt rifles home the crucial goal. | Image credit: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images
Schmidt rifles home the crucial goal. | Image credit: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Schmidt sends Canada through

The second half followed on from where the first ended, with little to no goal-mouth action. It was clear something odd or out of the ordinary was needed to see either side score, and Canada got just that. A hopeful ball over the top found Janine Beckie, and her volleyed cross fell perfectly to Schmidt; she rifled home, and they had the lead.

Joy very nearly turned to despair just mere moments later when Schmidt conceded a foul in a dangerous position. The resulting set-piece was taken by Camile Abily and her free-kick was headed onto the bar by Sinclair, and the entire Canada defence were able to rest easy when it was hacked clear moments later.

Despite all the action on the hour mark, very little would follow as Stephanie Labbé continued her excellent form and dealt with every and any incoming cross. The Canadians were excellent and denied their opposition a shot at a medal with yet another 1-0 win in the Olympics. It does seem that the stalwarts of this France side will never claim one of football's biggest prizes. Canada will now take on Germany for a spot in the final.