US women’s soccer wins Olympic gold over Japan

Revenge is a dish best served gold, and Team USA served it hot.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team avenged last year’s heartbreaking loss in the women’s World Cup final with a 2-1 win over Japan Thursday. The victory gave the USWNT their third consecutive Olympic gold medal, and their fourth in five tournaments.

In front of a record-breaking crowd at Wembley Stadium, Japan had no answer for USA midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored both goals in the eighth and 54th minutes. Her second goal was a beautiful finesse shot from outside the penalty box that hit just inside the left post.

Japan scored their one goal off a botched clearance through Yuki Ogimi in the 63rd minute, playing very well all match. They had many chances that were either just short or turned away by goalkeeper Hope Solo, who had an exceptional performance. Arguably the best moment for Solo was a diving stop to the right post late in the match that shut down a Japanese breakaway and almost certain equalizer.

Both sides played a very respectful game, picking each other up from rough tackles and only one yellow card was given out. However, Japan will probably be resentful about a clear handball from Tobin Heath in the first half that was missed which could have evened the score in hindsight.

In the end, the U.S. women’s national team won their third straight gold medal with a very strong performance from all positions, reminiscent of the historic team that won gold at the sport’s debut at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Overcoming their disappointing loss in the World Cup Final last year, the USWNT rallied together and found redemption to claim the Olympic title.

What a meaningful gold to get.