Japan Defeat France in Semis

Boston College alumnus Laura Georges helped lead France on an impressive run to the semifinals in the women’s soccer tournament at the 2012 London Olympics, but her team came up just short against Japan in a 2-1 loss at Wembley Stadium on Monday. France will now head to the bronze medal match against the loser of the semifinal between the U.S. and Canada.

Japan took a first half lead on a goal by Yuki Ogimi in the 32nd minute off an error by France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. The defending World Cup champions then doubled their advantage four minutes into the second period on a strike by Mizuho Sakaguchi.

Substitute Eugenie le Sommer pulled one back for France in the 76th minute, but France’s Elise Bussaglia missed a 79th minute penalty kick that would have knotted the score. Despite a boatload of late chances and overall outshooting Japan 27 to 4, including and 11 to 3 advantage in shots on goal, France couldn’t find the equalizer. Georges missed on an 85th minute shot in the match.

France is currently sixth in the FIFA World Rankings, while World Cup champions Japan are ranked third.

Georges, a center back, was a halftime substitute against the number one ranked United States in France’s 4-2 loss to open Group G play on July 25. She started and played the full 90 minutes in a 5-0 win over North Korea and 1-0 win vs. Colombia in Group G action. She also played the entire match in France’s 2-1 quarterfinal upset over fourth ranked Sweden and the semifinal loss to Japan.

Georges has scored two goals in the tournament – the winning goal in the drubbing of North Korea and the equalizing goal in the quarterfinal win over Sweden.

In three seasons (2004-2006) with the BC Eagles, Georges was twice named to the All-ACC First Team. She was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.

Georges captains French club Olympique Lyonnais. She has made over 100 appearances for France.

The bronze medal match will take place on Thursday, August 9, at Ricoh Arena (known as City of Coventry Stadium for purposes of the Olympics) in Coventry, England.

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About Sean Donahue

Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He has covered four MLS Cups, in addition to covering various international matches, including World Cup Qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has done freelance work for the AP and ESPN Boston. Sean hosted Revolution Recap, a weekly radio program covering the New England Revolution and U.S. Men's National Team from 2005-2008. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters. Sean can be reached at nesoccertoday@gmail.com or followed on twitter @SeanLDonahue