Team Canada made the most of their opportunities in their win against the United States, punching their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 gold medal match nine years after a controversial loss to the Americans in the semis at London 2012 Olympic Games.
The idea that a player has to go down to guarantee a penalty is one that has governed most of modern football, but such “streetwise” moves could be stamped out of the English game as part of a series of rule changes for the 2021/22 season, that also see “the benefit of the doubt” returned to attackers for offside decisions. Players will be told that they will get penalties when they stay on their feet as referees and VAR are instructed to look at the nature of contact, the consequence of contact, and the intention of attackers. The application of the offside rule has also been tweaked to try and eliminate marginal calls that come down to centimetres, with the use of the thicker “broadcast” line essentially returning the benefit of the doubt to the attacker.
Players initiating or exaggerating contact in the penalty area can expect to win fewer penalties next season.