2012 Year in Review: The FIFA tournaments
Posted on 26 December 2012 in Around the Soccer World
The 2012 international football season featured six FIFA tournaments including: the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments at London 2012; the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012; the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012; the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012; and the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012. Canada participated in three of the six tournaments, with the Women's National Team winning a bronze medal at London 2012.
Men’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012
A highly-acclaimed Mexico captured the gold medal in Men’s Football at London 2012 – knocking off perennial favourites Brazil 2:1 in the 8 August final at Wembley Stadium in London, UK.
Mexican striker Oribe Peralta scored both goals in the final leading the CONCACAF side to a memorable win over the South Americans.
Canadian fans will remember that it was Mexico, who knocked Canada out of contention for a spot at London 2012 – defeating Tony Fonseca’s U-23 side 3:1 in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semi-final earlier in the year.
Brazil captured silver at the tournament. Korea Republic defeated Asian rivals Japan 2:0 in the bronze medal match to snatch the final place on the podium.
Brazil’s Leandro Damiao finished the tournament as top scorer with six goals.
Women’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012
The 2012 edition of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament proved to be the most successful major competition in history of Canadian soccer.
Christine Sinclair famously led Canada on a fairy-tale run to the podium featuring no shortage of drama along the way.
Canada suffered a narrow 2:1 loss to world champions Japan in the first match of the tournament before rebounding with a 3:0 win over South Africa. John Herdman’s side then came from two goals down to pull out a late 2:2 draw against Sweden to sneak into the knock-out stages.
Big Red then knocked off hosts Great Britain with a 2:0 win in the quarter-final. Jonelle Filigno put the Canadians ahead with a delightful half-volley before Sinclair sealed the victory with a free-kick strike.
In undoubtedly the most dramatic match of the tournament, North American rivals Canada and USA did battle at Old Trafford in a classic semi-final.
Sinclair gave Canada the lead on three separate occasions in a performance for the ages, but all three times USA responded with an equalizer before Alex Morgan broke Canadian hearts with an extra-time winner in the 123rd minute.
Canada rebounded from the bitter disappointment of the semi-final loss to pull out a last-gap win to claim the bronze medal three days later against France.
Canada absorbed an onslaught of French pressure throughout the match before Diana Matheson popped up to score the medal-winning goal in the 93rd minute.
The third-place finish was Canada’s first medal in a traditional team sport at the summer Olympics since 1936 – and the first in history of Canadian football. It also marks the highest finish of any Canadian team at major international tournament.
USA defeated Japan 2:1 in the tournament final at Wembley stadium to claim the gold medal, with the Japanese taking silver.
Sinclair finished the competition as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals. Canada’s Tancredi finished as the joint third top scorer with four goals.
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012
USA defeated Germany 1:0 in the final to win Japan 2012 courtesy of a winner by Kealia Ohai.
After a promising start to the tournament featuring a 6:0 win over Argentina, Canada exited the tournament in the group stages following consecutive 2:1 losses to Norway and Korea DPR.
Kim Un Hwa finished Japan 2012 as the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals. Adriana Leon finishes as Canada’s top scorer with three goals.
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012
France defeated Korea DPR 7:6 on kicks from the penalty mark following a 1:1 result in the final at Azerbaijan 2012.
Canada made it to the quarter-final at the tournament before getting knocked out by finalists Korea DPR in a 2:1 loss.
Canada had gone undefeated during group play registering a 1:1 draw against Nigeria before a pair of 1:0 wins over Colombia and hosts Azerbaijan.
Korea DPR’s Ri Un Sim finished Azerbaijan 2012 as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals.
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012
Brazilian club Corinthians defeated Chelsea FC of England 1:0 to claim the title at Japan 2012.
CF Monterrey – winner of the 2011/2012 CONCACAF Champions League exited the competition at the semi-final stage, losing 3:1 to Chelsea.
FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012
Brazil defeated spain 3:2 a.e.t to claim the title at Thailand 2012.
Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala were the CONCACAF representatives at the tournament – none of three teams advanced to the knock-out stages.