US women’s soccer team grabs Olympic gold
Today’s game was a challenging one for Americans, however.
In a hard-fought, physical match that saw the U.S. on its heels for long stretches, the teams ended regulation time in a scoreless draw.
But early in the first half of extra time, American Amy Rodriguez held off two defenders and tapped the ball to Lloyd, who fired a left-footed blast from outside the left corner of the Brazilian penalty area that sailed directly under diving Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara.
Brazil went on the offensive from that point, throwing everything it had at the Americans, but it couldn't produce a tying goal.
Marta, once again a force the South American side with six shots on goal, gave her all trying to net the equalizer in the remaining extra time periods.
The two-time FIFA Player of the Year had an opportunity in the 102nd minute, but she was tackled by American Heather Mitts. Marta recovered to regain possession, only to have shots blocked by Kate Markgraf and then by Christie Rampone.
In the final minute of the match, Marta tried to bend in a corner a few minutes later, but U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo punched it free.
Renata Costa had an opportunity with the rebound, but her shot only found the side netting, drawing groans from the crowd of 51,612 at Worker's Stadium.
Marta looped in a free kick moments later, but none of her teammates could reach it as the ball bounced over the scrum and wide of the far post.
Cristiane missed one last-gasp opportunity as her header went just wide before the final whistle blew.
After outplaying the Americans for much of the contest, the Brazilians looked stunned following the loss.
The win gives the U.S. its third Olympic gold medal in women's soccer and its fourth straight medal in Games competition. The team's only loss in the gold-medal final came against Norway at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The win was also the U.S.'s revenge for losing 4-0 to Brazil in last fall's World Cup semifinal.
Canadian women were eliminated early, beaten by the aforementioned US team on August 15th. While losing to an Olympic champion can be a bit of a consolation for the Canadian girls, it is a pity they were not able to advance beyond the quarterfinal stage.