In the World Cup, the women of Team USA suffered a crushing defeat they thought they’d never get over. Well they got over it and then some on Thursday when they defeated Japan to take home the gold and exorcise their World Cup demons.
Carli Lloyd scored the only two goals Team USA scored, and Japan could only muster up one late goal, propelling the United States to gold medal redemption. Even with Abby Wambach getting a late match yellow card, the Japanese couldn’t muster up anything against the American’s this time around.
Hope Solo was a savior for the American’s making three incredible saves including one late in the match to which the crowd in attendance at Wembley Stadium erupted in cheer for.
There was drama late in the match when Japan pulled to a 2-1 deficit. Japan got a few free kicks in the United States box with one getting headed by Wambach. It was at this time the Hope Solo made the save of the Olympics, stretching for a world class style save to preserve the 2-1 score. That was the swing of momentum and the shot of swagger that the U.S. women needed to hold on to the lead and hold on to the gold.
Carli Lloyd was the hero though, as she channeled her 2008 Beijing performance which resulted ina gold for the U.S. women as well. The U.S. did get another break form the officials that will go heavily criticized especially in the wake of the game against Canada. In the first half, American Tobin Heath wasn’t called for an obvious handball violation, a call that could have shifted the game in Japan’s favor if called correctly.
But love it or hate it, the U.S. women’s soccer team has the gold medal and they continue their dominance at the highest level of the sport. They couldn’t muster up a World Cup win but they more than redeemed themselves on Thursday.