Posted on August 7, 2012
LONDON — Norwegian Christiana Pedersen, who made two controversial calls that led to the United States’ equalizing goal in its dramatic 4-3 comeback victory over Canada in the Olympic women’s semifinals, received some important support from back home.
Rune Pedersen, who is in charge of Norway’s game officials, backed the referee on Tuesday.
Canada coach John Herdman and several Canada players criticized Pederson for a pair of decision late in regulation in Manchester.
Pederson awarded the U.S. an indirect free kick in the pnelaty area after ruling that goalkeeper Erin McLeod had taken more than six seconds to punt the ball away. On the subsequent kick, Megan Rapinoe slammed a ball into the defensive wall, hitting a Canadian in the arm. Pedersen then called for a penalty kick, which Abby Wambach converted to knot up the match at 3-3.
“The semifinal was an intense and demanding task,” Pedersen said in a statement. “There were many battles, but the referee was in control all the time. Christiana was very close to the play. There were two difficult decisions in the match – an indirect free kick to the United States after 78 minutes, with a subsequent penalty for handball.
“These decisions were tough to make and it showed Christiana was not afraid to do what she thought was right. We hope FIFA supports her in these decisions.”
Forward Alex Morgan eventually scored late in extratime to give the Americans the win and a spot in the final against Women’s World Cup champion Japan at Wembley on Thursday. The Canadians will meet France in the bronze-medal match earlier the same day.
Categories: Canada, North America, Olympic Qualifying, Women