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London Olympics 2012: U.S. Womens Soccer Wins Gold Medal Over Japan

The women of the United State national team don't need to be reminded that Thursday night wasn't a World Cup match, but there was still the feeling of revenge, as the Americans defeated Japan 2-1 to win the gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. Cari Lloyd had two goals, likely silencing many of her critics, and Hope Solo anchored a defense looking for redemption.

Lloyd's first goal came eight minutes into the game thanks to an assist from Alex Morgan. The U.S. wouldn't score again until 46 minutes later, when Lloyd sliced from midfield right through the Japanese defense. Japan would respond minutes later with a goal from Yuki Ogimi in the 63rd minute of play.

From then on out, the pressure shifted to the U.S. defense, maligned for blowing two leads in their overtime loss to Japan in the Womens World Cup final in 2011. Solo had three saves, including one with seven minutes left that arguably saved the game, after Asuna Tanaka had a clear shot on goal following a turnover. Solo deflected the shot and the U.S. held on for the remainder, with the Japanese pressing heavily and the Americans committing multiple fouls.

For the latest on the 2012 Olympics, check out SB Nation's dedicated Olympics hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.