USA has won its third-straight gold medal in women’s soccer, beating Japan 2-1 in the final game at Wembley Stadium.
It’s revenge for the Americans, who lost to Japan on penalty kicks in last summer’s World Cup final.
Carli Lloyd scored both US goals, but it was controversial goalie Hope Solo who was the real hero — making a spectacular diving save in the 83rd minute to hold the 2-1 lead and win the game.
The silver medalists:
We were live-blogging the game with screencaps, scroll to see those:
UPDATE (90th minute, 2-1 USA):
Only two minutes of stoppage time. USA is 120 seconds away from gold, Japan wanted more stoppage time than that.
UPDATE (88th minute, 2-1 USA):
Wambach has a free header off a corner kick but flicks it over the net. She could have ended it there.
UPDATE (87th minute, 2-1 USA):
The air has come out of this game a little after that unreal save. Japan is back in possession though, and there should be about 7 minutes of action left including stoppage time.
UPDATE (83rd minute, 2-1 USA):
Incredible save Hope Solo! A Japan forward was one on one with her and Solo went horizontal, diving left to save it. Game-saver right there.
UPDATE (82nd minute, 2-1 USA):
USA with a brief spell of possession. Every second they can hold it matters, but eventually Japan is going to send the entire team forward…
UPDATE (78th minute, 2-1 USA):
Hope Solo has been great tonight. But her defence looks really shaky right now. She might have to come up big here in the final minutes:
UPDATE (74th minute, 2-1 USA):
Chaos in the USA’s box, with another clear off the line followed by a Japan foul. Japan getting closer and closer…
UPDATE (71st minute, 2-1 USA):
A Japan free kick from a dangerous area is headed away by Wambach. USA starting to enter “hunker down” mode with 20 minutes left. Risky.
UPDATE (69th minute, 2-1 USA):
A half-chance for the US is saved. They’ve responded well to the Japan coach, and are keeping the ball in Japan’s half right now.
UPDATE (64th minute, 2-1 USA):
INSANE STAT: The US women’s team has an all-time record of 300-1-1 when they had a 2-goal lead. That’s in jeopardy now.
Here’s the goal:
UPDATE (63rd minute, 2-1 USA):
GOAL JAPAN! 2-1 now and they’re right back in it! It was originally cleared off the line but Japan pounded in the rebound. We got a game!
UPDATE (62nd minute):
UPDATE (57th minute):
Japan really needs to pour players forward now. Meanwhile, you can see the result of the Usain Bolt 200m race here (no spoilers!).
UPDATE (55th minute):
GOAL! 2-0 USA and it’s Lloyd again with a blast from outside!
UPDATE (53rd minute):
USA putting high pressure on the Japanese in their own half, not letting them have the comfortable possession they had in the first half.
UPDATE (50th minute):
The US gets its first corner in forever, which is a good sign. It looks like they’re going to try and grab that second goal.
Things are tense:
UPDATE (46th minute):
Off we go! We’ll see if the US tries to push forward more, or if they hunker down for 45 minutes. The latter strategy is risky and stressful, but it’s what they did in the first half.
HALFTIME (USA 1, JAPAN 0):
USA clings to a lead, but Japan was by far the better team in the first half. They had three golden chances compared to the USA’s one. A more fair scoreline would read 2-1 Japan. But hey, USA will take it.
With Japan playing so well, the final 45 minutes should be as intense as they come. If the score stands, it’ll be the third-straight gold for the US women.
Here’s your only goal-scorer:
UPDATE (43rd minute, 1-0 USA):
Just as it looked like Japan was going to break through, USA has a nice three minutes of possession. Now both teams seem content to take this one to halftime and regroup.
UPDATE (40th minute, 1-0 USA):
USA just wants to get to halftime without conceding a goal. Japan is straight-up dominating, and the 1-0 scoreline is probably unfair to the defending World Cup champs.
UPDATE (37th minute, 1-0 USA):
A Japan shot from the edge of the box bends just wide of the post. It was never going in, but we’ll count that as yet another chance for the Japanese. This game could very easily be 3-1 Japan right now.
UPDATE (34th minute, 1-0 USA):
Another Japan shot pings off the crossbar! That’s their third golden opportunity. Didn’t look like Solo got a finger on it. As we’ve said roughly one billion times so far, one goal will not be enough.
UPDATE (32nd minute, 1-0 USA):
USA grabs the reigns a little bit. Japan had the better of play from the 7th minute to the 27th minute, but the US had had a decent spell of possession here. It really looks like 1 goal won’t be enough though, chances aplenty.
UPDATE (27th minute, 1-0 USA):
Oh boy, really obvious hand ball by a US defender in the box, but it wasn’t called. Looked like Heath. Yeesh:
UPDATE (25th minute, 1-0 USA):
The game has settled down after a hectic opening. You’d have to say Japan has had the better of play since the goal though.
UPDATE (18th minute, 1-0 USA):
And another Japan chance! Solo makes a save on a point-blank header. Japan is really knocking on the door now…
UPDATE (17th minute, 1-0 USA):
Japan nearly scores! One shot beats Hope Solo but it’s kicked off the goal line by a defender. Then the rebounds someone deflects out of bounds. Lots of goals in this one.
UPDATE (15th minute, 1-0 USA):
Terrible defending by Japan on that goal. If Lloyd didn’t head in that cross, Wambach would have.
Here’s Morgan’s reaction after her big assist:
UPDATE (7th minute):
GOAL! Carli Lloyd puts the US up 1-0 on a headed cross from Morgan. Boy that was quick! Goalie had no chance.
UPDATE (6th minute):
Alex Morgan gets clipped on her to accept a through ball, but nothing is called. Could have easily been a foul in a dangerous area:
UPDATE (3rd minute):
Alex Morgan with the first chance of the game, but she kicks it harmlessly into the chest of the goalie:
UPDATE (1st minute):
Off we go! Japan in red (not their usual dark blues), USA in the same navy blue uniforms that they beat Canada in.
Here are the two teams during the anthem, pretty cool. There are 80,000 people there:
We’re super-excited for this one. So is Michael Phelps’ girlfriend:
Here’s the venue, Wembley Stadium in London. 80,000 tickets have been sold for the game:
What happened last time these two teams played in a big game:
A younger Alex Morgan, angry:
The USA-Japan gold medal match in women’s soccer is about to start on NBC Sports Network.
It’s a rematch of last summer’s Women’s World Cup final, when Japan upset the US on penalty kicks. So the Americans are playing for revenge.
The US is the favourite, but not overwhelmingly so.
We’ll be here all game with updates and screencaps, hopefully this game is as wild as the USA-Canada thriller.
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