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2012 London Olympics

One year ago today: The one that won’t be forgotten

The USA-Canada 2012 Olympic semifinal will go down as one of the greatest games ever played. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Wow, can a year go by quickly, or what?

We need not remind the readers of this space of the details of that August 6, 2012 evening at Old Trafford.

The drama, the controversy, the excitement, the ugly tackles, the patriotism — it was ever-present and will forever stand as one of the most entertaining matches ever played. The United States women’s national team defeated Canada 4-3 in the Olympic semifinals, with Alex Morgan’s 123rd minute goal — the latest ever in a FIFA competition — proving to be the difference.

Christine Sinclair’s hat trick for Canada was erased by a wonderful brace from Megan Rapinoe, a controversial penalty kick from Abby Wambach to force extra time and the most dramatic of winners from Morgan. Sinclair played possessed. Morgan rose to new heights — literally.

Canada will always feel cheated by the result — the six-second call, the subsequent handball — and the United States will forever look at the match as one of its most epic triumphs in the most storied women’s soccer nation.

Here’s the full match report if you’re feeling nostalgic; we won’t bore you with details you know. We’ll simply pay homage to one memorable match.

I personally had the pleasure of working this one and the whole tournament for and the viewership and readership — which picked up as word spread of the match — was phenomenal. As an NBC Sports employee and someone who is very much against pirated video, I won’t embed the bootleg stuff here (Olympics video gets taken down when the calendar year ends due to rights), but you can fairly easily find it (for better or worse).

So we pose a question: Can any match ever top that day in Manchester, England?


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