Thursday, August 9, 2012
I know my photos aren't the best, but this will give you some idea what it was like in Wembley Stadium on an electric night. The top one shows the U.S. celebrating with some flags after their 2-1 victory. At the bottom -- and I loved this -- the Japanese players, many of them crying, went to both sides of the stadium and bowed together after the loss. They drew huge applause.
LONDON -- The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal over Japan Thursday in a 2-1 thriller, avenging its lost to the same team in last year’s Women’s World Cup before 80,203 rowdy fans in Wembley Stadium.
Both U.S. goals were scored by Carli Lloyd, who scored on a header just eight minutes into the game off a perfect left-footed cross from Alex Morgan and then again off a powerful kick midway through the second half following at least a 30-yard run.
Lloyd’s second goal made it 2-0 for the U.S. But Japan had been unlucky not to score until then, with goalkeeper Hope Solo making a couple of great saves for the U.S. and another shot fading just wide. The luck changed shortly thereafter, as Japan’s Yuki Ogimi scored by chipping in a loose ball in front of the goal to halve the margin to 2-1.
The Japanese then tried one furious thrust after another to tie the game in the last 20 minutes. On the closest, Japan’s Maria Iwabuchi stole the ball and had an open shot from 10 yards, but Solo dove to knock it away. That incredible save was good timing for Solo in a variety of ways – her autobiography comes out Tuesday.
Ultimately, the U.S. defense held up and America claimed its fourth gold medal in the five Olympic Games that have featured women’s soccer. The chant “USA, USA” rained down from the stadium in the closing minutes.
Posted by Scott Fowler at 4:31 PM