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Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2020 Women’s Olympic Final

In this football language podcast we look back at some of the phrases that emerged from the 2020 Women’s Olympic Final between Canada and Sweden, including ‘sudden-death‘ and ‘decisive penalty‘ which came from the Guardian report. You can read a transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2020 Women’s Olympic Final

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the team – I hope you are all doing well. Now we’ve been taking a short break over the summer but in today’s show we look at some of the words and phrases from the 2020 Women’s Olympic final between Canada and Sweden that took place in Yokohama, Japan. Some of the words we look at include: sudden-death and decisive penalty which were used to describe the Canadian win in the penalty shootout to claim their first ever gold medal.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Swedish).

Julia Grosso scored the decisive penalty as Canada beat back-to-back silver medallists Sweden in a sudden-death shootout after a Jessie Fleming penalty cancelled out Stina Blackstenius’s first-half strike to force the game beyond 90 minutes ( August 7 2021)
Let’s have a look at how the writer from the Guardian newspaper has described the gold-medal match that went to penalties after a 1-1 draw. So, the first part of the sentence focuses on the winning goal in the penalty shoot-out – Canadian player Grosso’s penalty was described as ‘decisive‘ which means that her goal decided the game; she scored the winning goal in the penalty shoot out. The second part of this sentence explains which side won the gold medal – Canada – and how they defeated Sweden; how they beat Sweden, who have now lost two Olympic finals in a row (or in succession) – this is what ‘back-to-back‘ means here. The next section describes how the Canadian side did this – in a sudden-death shootout – which means that if both teams are still level after the five penalties of the shootout then they keep taking penalties until someone misses. So, we can say that Canada won 3-2 after sudden-death. The final part of the sentence decribes the main information from the game: Canada’s Fleming scored an equaliser from the penalty spot cancelling out an opening goal in the first half (first-half strike) from Swedish striker Blackstenius. This cancelling out sent the game to extra time (so forced the game beyond 90 minutes) before the two sides faced off in the penalty shootout. It is a long sentence indeed from the Guardian report but it includes nearly all of the information of the match. Here are some of the words from that match:

  • decisive penalty
  • back-to-back silver medalists
  • sudden-death penalty shootout
  • cancelled out
  • first-half strike
  • force the game beyond 90 minutes

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to – that message was in Dutch. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocab support which you can access by coming along to our site. OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrases from the 2020 Women’s Olympic final and congratulations again to Canada for winning their first Olympic title. Don’t forget you can find lots of football language on our site here at, including a huge glossary of football expressions, cliches and terms. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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