Just a year after losing to Japan in the World Cup Finals, the U.S. Women redeemed themselves with a 2–1 win Thursday in the Olympic gold medal match. The title game was the fifth straight in the Olympics for the women who’ve come away with four golds during that time.
Carli Lloyd, who scored the gold-medal-winning goal four years ago for the U.S. in Beijing, again played the hero for the United States, scoring both goals.
Lloyd started the scoring early on a header in the eighth minute off a pass from Alex Morgan. Abby Wambach, who was held without a goal for the first time in these games was right behind Lloyd and seemed poised to score with her foot had Lloyd been unable to.
Japan nearly tied it 10 minutes later, but U.S. goalie Hope Solo made a terrific jumping palm-save to deflect Yuki Ogimi’s shot onto the crossbar. The save occurred just a minute after another Japan threat was thwarted on a save by Christie Rampone, who found herself behind goalie Hope Solo. Solo then stuffed Ogimi on the rebound.
The match was still 1–0 in the 54th minute when Lloyd struck again with a running shot from approximately 20 yards in front that made it past for a 2–0 lead.
Japan finally got on the board with a goal in the 63nd minute after Homare Sawa’s shot was initially blocked by Rampone and Ogimi scored the rebound.The U.S. was unable to convert several opportunities afterwards to regain their two-goal lead as Rachel Buehler, Lloyd, and Wambach each missed shots. The misses were soon forgotten though as the defense held strong to the end to secure their third straight gold.
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