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Canada Beats France, Wins Bronze Medal In Olympic Women's Soccer

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Canada's Diana Matheson, center, celebrates his goal against France during their bronze medal women's soccer match at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 at The Ricoh Arena Stadium in Coventry, England.
Canada's Diana Matheson, center, celebrates his goal against France during their bronze medal women's soccer match at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 at The Ricoh Arena Stadium in Coventry, England.

COVENTRY, England — Diana Matheson scored in injury time Thursday to give Canada the Olympic bronze medal in women's soccer with a 1-0 victory over France.

In the second minute of injury time, Matheson passed inside the penalty area to midfielder Sophie Schmidt, who turned, dribbled and took a shot. The ball deflected off defender Sonia Bompastor and landed at the feet of Matheson, who volleyed in the game-winner past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.

"It feels amazing," Matheson said. "We felt as a group that we were going to earn this and we did, in the last minute."

It is Canada's first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since the 1936 Berlin Games, when the men's basketball team won silver.

After a timid first half, France overran Canada in the second, hitting the post and crossbar, among numerous other chances. But they couldn't break through against the Canadians, who appeared to have heavy legs after losing 4-3 in extra time to the United States in the semifinals Monday.

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair's hat trick against the Americans was among her six goals in the tournament, but she did little to threaten France's goal and was forced to defend late in the game.

Canada will now travel about 100 miles southeast to Wembley Stadium to pick up the bronze after the gold-medal match between Japan and the U.S.

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