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Burnaby's Christine Sinclair was the star of the show but it wasn't enough to propel the Canadian women's soccer team into the gold medal game at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London on Monday.
But she and her teammates, despite having heavy legs from the epic match, were good enough to win the bronze medal on Thursday edging France 1-0 with a goal late in stoppage time.
Back on Monday, three times Sinclair scored to give Canada the lead over the top-ranked American squad, but each time the United States responded and eventually prevailed 4-3 with a goal in the dying seconds of injury time in the 30-minute overtime.
Sinclair's play drew praise from across the country and even from her opponents
"Spare a thought for Canada and Christine Sinclair, who was brilliant for 120 minutes," said a Twitter message from the United States women's team.
Some have called for her to be Canada's flag bearer at the Olympics' closing ceremonies on Sunday. What she did on Monday, said many, ranks right up there with many of Canada's best-ever Olympic performances even if it doesn't result in a medal.
In the first half, Sinclair scored after taking a pass from Melissa Tancredi, doing a dribble around a defender and then sliding a shot past U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo.
In the second half, after the Americans had tied the game, Sinclair headed a cross from Tancredi into the top corner to give Canada the lead again. She practically duplicated the feat for her hat trick goal heading a corner kick into the same corner of the net.
It looked like that might be enough for Canada to beat the United States for the first time in more than a decade, but then Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was penalized for delaying the game by holding onto the ball too long. It is a rarely called rule, and the resulting indirect free kick was drilled into a Canadian defender's arm and suddenly the United States had a penalty shot which the American's top scorer, Amy Wambach converted.
"I feel robbed. You never see a goalkeeper get called for the six second rule," Sinclair told TSN after the game. "Obviously, we're disappointed and upset. We felt that the referee took it away from us, so yes we are disappointed. We feel like we didn't lose, we feel like it was taken from us. It's a shame in a game like that, which is so important, that the ref decided the result before the game started."
Sinclair told reporters when she approached referee Christiana Pedersen the official giggled and said nothing. "We feel cheated," said Sinclair.
On Tuesday, FIFA, the sport's world governing body, said it would be investigating incidents after the game to see if any disciplinary action against Canada would be needed. That put Sinclair's status in doubt for the bronze medal game, but on Wednesday FIFA announced nothing would be done prior to Thursday's match.
The Burnaby South grad's three goals on Monday give her 142 in her illustrious international career to tie her for second overall with Wambach. American Mia Hamm holds the record with 158.