Canadian shootout hero Stephanie Labbé ready to battle rivals USA

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OneFootball

Emily Wilson

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Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé was Canada’s penalty shootout hero in the Olympic quarter-final against Brazil and she’s focused on the battle against rivals the USA.

The 34-year-old was an unpenetrable force throughout 120 minutes and made two saves in the shootout to send Canada to the semis despite captain Christine Sinclair missing from the spot.

“It is hard after you make the first save to come down again and be focussed,” Labbé said after the match to FIFA.com.

“But I knew in that moment I wanted to be there for my team and so I did everything I could to be ready.”

“We have been training penalties and for me, I know my mindset is one of my strongest attributes of my game. I know those are the moments when I can really shine, and bring the attributes that I’m good at, and that is being calm and composed and trusting myself.”

Now, the Canadians find themselves in a rematch of the 2012 Olympic semi-final where the USA prevailed 4-3 after extra time.

This time around, Labbé is confident Bev Priestman’s team can rewrite history and win gold in Tokyo.

“I have my eyes set on one thing only, and that is to get us into the final and give us a chance to win that gold medal,” she said.

“[USA] have extremely attack-minded players with big threats up top but it is not like anything we haven’t seen.”

“We have played the US so many times, so that is something we are used to. Club football is one thing but when it is the national team it is a different [thing].”

“We are set on one thing only, and that is getting ourselves into the final. We are going to throw everything at the game to give us the best opportunity to succeed.”

Canada face the USA in the first semi-final on 2 August before Sweden take on Australia in the second.