Since women's football entered the Olympics in 1996, the USA ladies have been in every final. Today they were set to win their fourth Olympic gold medal in this sport in a repeat of the 2011 World Cup final USA-Japan, which Japan surprisingly won..
Japan is a patient team. They bite and fight themselves into the match, but that seemed to go against them today. USA started like lightning, and Carli Lloyd brought them ahead 1-0 after only seven minutes. Only then did the World Champions wake up, and hit the post, forced some good saves by the USA goalie Hope Solo, and should even have had a penalty. At the same time, the USA were still dangerous on their counterattacks. In the second half Carli Lloyd in fact brought USA ahead 2-0 on one such counterattack. Japan continued pressing, and got one goal, but in the end it was not enough. But a final worthy of the best. Any football fan should love both the US and Japanese ladies, who play with style, passion, happiness and some of the dignity that you hardly see in men's football any more.
You do not see any ladies cry at every tackle. Be ready to, in the men's final, to see a bunch of men cry like... well... I was going to say girls. But clearly men's football could learn from the women!
Gold for the USA, silver for Japan, and bronze for Canada, who beat France in the match for bronze.