The U.S. women’s soccer team had to wait 389 days for their rematch against World Cup winner Japan. They made their chance at revenge count in Thursday’s gold medal match at Wembley Stadium in London.
Carli Lloyd, who also scored the game-winning goal for the United States in the gold medal match of the 2008 Olympics, had both scores as the U.S. won, 2-1.
“This is the dream that we’ve all been thinking about and feeling for the last year since the World Cup,” said veteran forward Abby Wambach, who had been particularly vocal about wanting a chance for redemption in the months leading up to the Olympics.
It was Lloyd who swooped in front of Wambach on a cross from Alex Morgan to head the ball into the back of the net in the just the eighth minute of the final.
Lloyd did all the work herself on the goal that would prove to be the game-winner. She dribbled from midfield to just outside the box where she unleashed a line drive into the left corner of the net, just out of the reach of Japanese keeper Miho Fukumoto.
But it was Hope Solo, the oft controversial U.S. goalkeeper, who saved the game in the end. In the 83rd minute, with the United States holding that one goal lead, Solo charged Asuna Tanaka and stopped a 1-on-1 that would’ve tied the match.