Friday, August 10, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Wins Gold, Defeating Japan In London Olympics Final

Public Readings - U.S. Women's Soccer Wins Gold, Defeating Japan In London Olympics Final. Golden redemption belongs to the U.S. women's soccer team after defeating Japan in the gold medal match at the London 2012 Olympics. For Abby Wambach and the U.S. women, the 2-1 win goes a long way toward erasing the stinging defeat to Japan in the final of the 2011 World Cup.

Carli Lloyd opened the scoring for the United States in the 8th minute, capping a relentless run up the middle of the park by heading home a cross from Alex Morgan, the heroine of the U.S. semifinal win over Canada. Wambach was poised in the penalty area waiting to volley the cross but Lloyd burst into the box to nod it past Japanese goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto. The 30-year-old New Jersey native would double the lead in the 54th minute.

"I think I just come up big in big moments. That's what I've trained for," Lloyd said after game, via The Associated Press. "I worked my butt off day-in and day-out. I don't think there's anybody that works harder than I do. I was on a mission this Olympics to prove everybody wrong, and that's what I did. To show everybody that I belong on the field."

A star for the U.S. during the 2008 World Cup, Lloyd had fallen out of favor with coach Pia Sundhage and only was called into the starting lineup as an injury replacement earlier in the Olympic tournament. Coming off the bench, Lloyd scored the match-winning goal during the U.S. comeback triumph over France to begin the road to Wembley.

"She proved that I was wrong and that I'm not that perfect," Sundhage said after Lloyd's brace provided the winning margin, via Jeff Kassouf of NBC.

The reigning World Cup champions did not fold, pulling a goal back by way of Yuki Ogimi in the 63rd minute. Held at bay by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo on either side of the intermission, Japan could not find an equalizer.