U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins Bronze Medal Match at Tokyo Olympics

U.S. forward Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring against Australia in the first half of Thursday’s women’s soccer bronze-medal match. (Fernando Vergara / Associated Press)

If this was the last game at a major international tournament for Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, they sure made it one to remember.

Rapinoe scored twice – including the rare olimpico – and Lloyd set the U.S. women’s record for most career Olympic goals as the U.S. women beat Australia 4-3 on Thursday to win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Games. Lloyd’s goals, in stoppage time in the first half and in the 51st, gave her 10 total at the Olympics, passing Abby Wambach.

Though this was only the third time since the World Cup (1991) and Olympic (1996) tournaments began that the USWNT had failed to make the final, it at least avoided being shut out like it was in Rio, when it lost in the quarterfinals.

“As you can imagine, we’ve done lots of talking and meetings and hashing it all out and doing the autopsy,” Rapinoe said of how the team reacted after the semifinal loss to Canada. “But I felt like we just got to a good place and we’re either going to come out and play great or play shitty so just be a bit more free. Trust in ourselves. Trust in each other.”

This is the second time the U.S. women have won a bronze medal at a major tournament, following their third-place finish at the 2007 World Cup.

With the next World Cup still two years away, there has been much talk about whether this is the end for some of the USWNT’s biggest, and most successful stars. Lloyd is 39, Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn are 36, and Tobin Heath and Kelley O’Hara are 33.

But after looking old and ragged for much of the Tokyo Olympics, the USWNT vets turned back the clock against Australia.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Nancy Armour

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