The After Bar - USWNT 2 - Japan 1
Planting the Seed of Soccer Across America: Danny Beerseed
True grit, and a little luck, propelled the United States women's national team to gold medal glory at the 2012 London Olympics. Carli Lloyd was the unlikely hero of the match, scoring both goals to lead the Lady Nats to a tight 2-1 win. Several fantastic Hope Solo saves, a few shots aided by the cross bar and some last-ditch defending from her back line helped perserve the lead throughout the match.
The victory over Japan somewhat avenges their Women's World Cup Final loss from last summer where the USWNT gave up a late equalizer and then fell in penalty kicks. It seemed as though the match might also be heading that way when, in the 83rd minute, captain Christine Rampone handed a pass sloppily and turned the ball over to an on-rushing Japanese attack. Solo was up to the task parring away the shot and putting the game on ice.
The USWNT will return home and complete a "victory tour" game series that starts in Abby Wambach's home of Rochester, New York on September 1st and stretches across ten matches total.
Bob Costas interviews the team from the NBC Olympics studio.
Analysis from women's soccer's best writers:
Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated) - "Four Thoughts on USA 2 - Japan 1" and "U.S. women's fourth gold medal a team effort in the truest sense"
Jenna Pel (NBC Sports Network) - "Staying golden: The U.S. prevail over Japan to clinch fourth Olympic gold medal"
Jeff Carlisle (ESPN) - "Closure for U.S." (player grades as well)
Jason Gay (Wall Street Journal) - "On a team of stars, star was the team"
New York Times - "Passing Patterns of the U.S.'s Top Playmakers"
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