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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

'That'll stay with me for a long time' - Canada star on penalty miss heartache

Many people would have expected Christine Sinclair to take it, but Janine Beckie stepped up instead.

CANADA’S JANINE BECKIE expressed her heartache at missing a crucial penalty during her side’s 1-0 World Cup last-16 loss to Sweden last night.

Many people would have expected Christine Sinclair, chasing the all-time women’s international scoring record, to take the penalty, but the Man City player stepped up instead before seeing her attempt saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

“I’m confident in my penalty,” Beckie told TSN afterwards. “I thought I hit it really well. I thought she made a really good save. 

“It’s the big moments, the moments that you live for. You get all the glory if it goes in and it feels like you take the blame when you miss. That’ll stay with me for a long time.

“Christine actually asked me if I wanted to take it and that’s a big moment for me. It’s going to be hard for a while.”

It was the 22nd penalty awarded at this World Cup, equalling the record set in Canada four years ago, with 10 matches still to play. That also equals the pre-VAR record for men’s World Cups, although at last summer’s 32-team tournament in Russia, the number rocketed to 29.

Meanwhile, Lindahl has been relegated to the bench at Chelsea, but dealt tersely with a question on whether she had answered any doubters.

“If they doubted I can make any penalty saves that proved them wrong, yes,” she told a press conference.

I’ve almost done that several times in my career. I’ve been close. This time I had to stretch fully. Then ‘Yes!’ Just pure joy. We got a lot more energy from that.”

Sweden will next play Germany, a team they have not beaten in 11 tournament matches, going back to 1995.

“What happened years ago is history,” said coach Peter Gerhardsson. “We need to look at how Germany played their last three matches.”

Gerhardsson said he had used music as preparation.

“I had the best preparation for a match like that. I listened to four albums by Neil Young, Canada’s top performer,” he said, adding that the menu would be a little different for Germany.

“I’ll listen to (metal band) Ramstein, they released a new album recently. It will be heavy going on Saturday.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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Paul Fennessy

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