USWNT Wins Their First Olympic Bronze After Defeating Australia in Tokyo
Team USA's women's soccer team previously won four golds and one silver
The U.S. women's soccer team has added a bronze to their collection of golds.
The USWNT were medal-minded on Thursday at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium during their sixth and final game at the Tokyo Olympics, which was also the American squad's first bronze medal match in Olympic history.
Veteran Megan Rapinoe scored two goals early in the match and Carli Lloyd made it 3-0 before halftime. Lloyd, 39, became the first player in USWNT history to score in four Games.
Then early in the second half, Lloyd score increased the team's lead 4-1.
In the end, the Americans maintained their lead, winning bronze with a final score of 4-3.
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Team USA captured its sixth Olympic medal overall, continuing their lead on the list of all-time women's Olympic soccer medals along with four golds and one silver. No other nation has won multiple golds in women's soccer at the Games (Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo).
The bronze medal match against Australia was a rematch of the July 27 final group stage game, when the teams ended with a scoreless draw.
The U.S. team's path to bronze was uncharacteristic in comparison to how they dominated in the World Cup two years ago.
In their opening match against Sweden on July 21, the USWNT lost 0-3. Days later, they recovered with a 6-1 victory against New Zealand and then played to the scoreless draw with Australia — though it wasn't enough to win, it was enough to advance.
Last Friday, the Americans had a shootout win against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals when a 2-2 draw led to Press, Morgan, Lavelle and Rapinoe's tie-breaking penalty kicks.
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Several USWNT stars shared their excitement on social media ahead of the bronze medal match while acknowledging the rockier performance in Tokyo.
"I'm incredibly honored to have represented USA in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and grateful for the opportunity to compete for a medal today. 39 days later with this squad and still going strong, now let's finish the damn thing!!!" veteran Alex Morgan wrote on Instagram
"What an incredible sport this is, thanking God for one more opportunity!" Julie Ertz shared.
"Excited for our last game in #tokyo2020!!" Christen Press said.
"We look forward…Towards an incredible opportunity to compete for an Olympic Medal. One more to go!" wrote Crystal Dunn.
Sweden and Canada will play in the gold medal match at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium on Friday.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.