Canada’s run at the Women’s World Cup came to an abrupt end on Monday evening with a 1-0 loss to Sweden in the round-of-16.
The Canadians had a massive opportunity to even the game in the 69th minute, when they were rewarded with a penalty kick from the spot after VAR revealed a handball from a Swedish defender.
With Christine Sinclair — the second highest goal scorer in soccer history — on the field, it was Janine Beckie who was called on to take the crucial shot.
Beckie’s attempt looked headed for the corner of the net but Sweden goaltender Hedvig Lindahl made a great effort on a diving save, keeping the Canadians off the score sheet and preserving a shutout victory.
In the immediate aftermath of the decision, conversations immediately lit up about how one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the sport — playing in possibly her last ever World Cup game — could be only left watching while the opportunity slipped by.
After the match, in an emotional interview, Beckie revealed that Sinclair herself had made the offer to pass the opportunity on.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 24, 2019
“Christine actually asked me if I wanted to take it,” Beckie said. “That’s a big moment for me, and it’s going to be hard for a while.”
Head coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller confirmed the same sentiment in his post-match media availability, adding that the team does not have a pre-assigned player to take penalty kicks.
“They figured it out themselves,” said Heiner-Moller. “We have 3-4 players who can take them.”
Despite the failed attempt, Beckie wasn’t showing regret on her attempt.
“I’m confident in my penalty, I thought I hit it really well,” she said after the game. “I thought she made a really good save. It’s the big moments that are the moments that you live for. You get all the glory if it goes in and take all the blame it feels like if you miss.”