The team persevered, even though the medal’s color wasn’t what it was.
The United States won bronze in women’s soccer at Tokyo Olympics, salvaging a difficult tournament. After opening the Tokyo Games with a 3-0 defeat to Sweden, Megan Rapinoe scored two goals and Carli Lloyd scored one in a win of 4-3 over Australia.
It’s very satisfying. Becky Sauerbrunn, U.S. captain, said that everyone realized they didn’t play their best tournament. “So to get the response we got after a disappointing semifinal, to show that the USA mentality was strong and resilient, to put in the performance that we wanted, and finally to find it in a match like that — very satisfying.
This loss ended the Australians’ historic first trip to the Olympics medal round. There has never been a medal won by an Australian soccer team, male or female, in their history.
The Matildas were underdogs against the United States. They are the highest-ranked team in the World and are the current World Cup champions. The Americans were not without their problems, losing 1-0 to Canada in the semi-finals. Since 2001, the Canadians had not defeated their North American counterparts.
The U.S. team against Australia was completely different.
Lloyd stated, “That was the U.S. mentality.” “We played well, put together some good sequences, and scored some amazing goals. And I am extremely proud of how we persevered and the way that we turned things around. It’s a great feeling to be home with a medal.
Rapinoe scored from a corner kick in eight minutes to give the Americans an early lead. Rapinoe scored the Olimpico for the second time, as corner goals are well-known. She also scored one in the semifinals against Canada at the 2012 Olympics.
Sam Kerr scored a goal in 17 minutes to pull the Australians even, beating Adrianna Franch, U.S. goalkeeper.
Franch was able to make her first major tournament start in place of Alyssa Neher, who had injured her right knee during the semifinal loss to Canada by the U.S.
Kerr, just 27, became the Australians’ all-time leading scorer with 48 goals. With six goals, she was the leader of all remaining scorers in the tournament.
Rapinoe scored his second goal in the 21st with a spectacular volley. It became apparent that the Australians were missing Ellie Carpenter, a defender who was sent off in the Matildas’ 1-0 semi-final loss to Sweden.
In the first-half, Lloyd was able to make it 3-1 when her left-footed shot beat Australia goalkeeper Teagan Mickah. Another goal was added by Lloyd on a 51-minute break, making her the American record holder for Olympic goals in a career. She is the first American woman ever to score in four Olympics.
Lloyd was Lloyd’s 312th match appearance for the national team. She passed Christie Rampone to be second on the all time list. Kristine Lilly is the leader in career appearances with 354.
Lloyd, 39, is likely to be playing in her final major tournament. She was replaced in the 81st minutes by teammates who ran over to give handshakes and high fives. The bench also gave Lloyd a standing ovation.
Lloyd stated that she hadn’t made a decision yet about her future.
Caitlin Foord kept Australia in the game with a goal at 54 minutes. Emily Gielnik then scored in the 90th to make it even narrower, but the Matildas could not make up the difference.
Kerr sat on the field alone for a while after the whistle blew.
Steph Catley, Australia’s defender, stated that “being so close and really taking the game to one of the best teams in the world, as well as out-playing them at points and getting so close in some moments, it just feels almost like we were there and it has been taken from us.” It’s certainly hard to bear.”
The Australians already had met the United States at Tokyo Olympics. They held the Americans to a scoreless draw during the last game of the group stage. Australia was also the only group member to beat the Swedes in the group stage, and they are heading for Friday’s gold medal match against Canada.
The U.S. team’s tournament opening loss to Sweden ended a 44-match unbeaten streak. After a rebound win over New Zealand, Australia was held to a scoreless draw. The U.S. defeated the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals.
They were stopped in their quest to be the first team to win the Olympics, despite being crowned World Cup champions by Canada. Jessie Fleming scored the game’s only goal with a penalty kick in 74 minutes.
After the loss to Canada, players reported that they held a team meeting on Thursday.
“I felt that we had a positive vibe going into the game. Rapinoe stated that there has been a lot of meetings, talking, and hashing out the details. He also did the autopsy. “But I felt that we had just reached a good place,” Rapinoe said.
Five times, the United States reached the Olympics gold medal match. Since 1996, women’s soccer was made an Olympic sport and became a gold medal-winning team, the Americans have won four gold medals.
It is their second Olympics without a gold medal match. Five years ago, they were defeated by Sweden in the quarterfinals in Brazil.