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Posted at 02:36 PM ET, 08/09/2012

U.S. women’s soccer team defeats Japan, 2-1, to win third straight Olympic gold medal

United States vs. Japan

Women’s soccer gold medal match at Wembley

Kickoff: 2:45 p.m. ET.

TV: NBC Sports Network, NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, nbcolympics.com

USA LINEUP: Solo; LePeilbet, Rampone, Buehler (Sauerbrunn 80th), O’Hara; Rapinoe (Cheney 57th), Boxx, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan, Wambach.

JAPAN LINEUP: Fukumoto; Kinga, Kumagai, Iwashimizu, Sameshima (Iwabuchi 77th); Miyama, Sakaguchi (Tanaka 59th), Sawa, Kawasumi; Ohno (Maruyama 86th), Ogimi.

SCORING

USA: Lloyd 8th minute (video here).

USA: Lloyd 54th (video here).

Japan: Ogimi 63rd (video here).

Attendance: 80,203 (Olympic women’s soccer record).

3rd minute: USA takes early initiative, sending high ball deep into the box and then supplying Morgan for a left-side run. Fukumoto makes routine save.

4th: Japan promising build-up but Ohno’s lead ball for Kawasumi is too strong.

6th: Morgan gets tangled with Kumagai just beyond the box in attempt to connect with Lloyd’s well-weighed through ball.

8th: Lloyd GOAL! Running header at six-yard box. Terrific build-up: Heath left-sided run, feeds Morgan, who creates some space, turns and, as she has done throughout the tournament, displays wonderful vision to cross to the top of the six-yard box for Lloyd or Wambach. If Lloyd hadn’t nodded it in, Wambach probably would’ve finished with a volley. 1-0 USA.

15th: Wambach whiffs on volley attempt, but Rapinoe’s ensuing effort draws corner kick. Set piece cleared by Japan.

17th-18th: Japan gaining traction. Rampone clears shot from six-yard box and Solo blocks Ogimi’s bid. Moments later, Solo makes a spectacular leaping touch save on Ogimi’s nine-yard header, pushing the ball off the crossbar.

Midway through half: Americans survive Japan uprising, settle down defensively and seek to sustain possession.

27th: USA fortunate not to be called for a handball in the box. Heath’s arm was away from her body when Miyama’s free kick struck her. No call.

28th: Lloyd’s long ball deep into the box headed by Iwashimizu off her own left post.

33rd: Ohno draws three U.S. defenders in the box, sets up Miyama for one-timer that caroms off the crossbar. Yet another close call for the Americans.

37th: Ohno bends a 25-yarder beyond fully extended Solo and fractionally wide of the right post. Wow, another great chance for Japan.

42nd: Lloyd makes ambitious central run, stabs distant shot that’s covered by Fukumoto.

HALFTIME THOUGHTS: The Americans got off to a wonderful start on Lloyd’s goal, created brilliantly by Morgan, but Japan was the superior side as the match unfolded. Solo made two superb saves, the referee missed a clear handball in the box, Rampone cleared a ball behind Solo and Japan smacked the crossbar. Aside from the goal, the best U.S. chance was a near own goal. A very fortunate 1-0 scoreline for the United States.

46th: Solo punches out Miyama’s driven free kick while being undercut by Kumagai, who was being tackled (with arms) by Buehler.

51st: Morgan delicately chips ball to back post for Wambach, but Fukumoto punches out at last instant.

54th: Lloyd strikes again — USA goal! Collects possession near center circle, takes advantage of space with controlled run, then drills 22-yard shot in stride beyond Fukumoto’s stretch and into the left side-netting. 2-0, USA.

63rd: Japan pulls one back! Rampone clears another shot off the line, but Sawa pushes rebound to Ogimi for finish inside the six-yard box. Well-deserved and a longtime coming after so many opportunities. 2-1, USA.

69th: Fukumoto makes superb leg save on Buehler’s sliding one-timer deep in the box off flicked set piece.

73rd-74th: Japan in rhythm, threatening to find a late equalizer. USA showing signs of fatigue. Mad scramble in box on Japan free kick. LePeilbet blocks shot with mid-section at the six-yard box.

78th-79th: Japan unable to take advantage of dangerous free kick and corner kick against fading Americans.

80th: Sauerbrunn (University of Virginia, D.C. United Women) replaces Buehler.

82nd: Lloyd’s bid for a hat trick, a sizzling 20-yard bid, streaks a foot over the crossbar.

83rd: After Rampone’s giveaway, Solo makes spectacular save diving to her left on Tanaka’s angled drive. Great reaction by Solo as Tanaka tried to pick out the far side.

89th: Cheney corner kick targets Wambach, who can’t get full power on header.

90th: Japan free kick from 45 yards bounds untouched over the endline. Two minutes of stoppage time.

FINAL: United States 2, Japan 1. Gold for USA, silver for Japan, bronze for Canada. Fourth U.S. Olympic title in five tournaments since 1996.

By  |  02:36 PM ET, 08/09/2012

Tags:  Olympics, U.S. women's team, Japan

 
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