KASHIMA, Japan (Aug. 5, 2021) -- The U.S. Women’s National Team won the bronze medal at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 4-3 win against Australia behind by braces from veteran forwards Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd.
After a disappointing loss in the semifinals, the USA came roaring back in the bronze medal match, taking it to Australia from the get-go in an impressive offensive performance that will go down as the highest-scoring medal match – gold or bronze – in Olympic women’s soccer history. It was the USWNT’s sixth Olympic medal overall, the most of any country. The USA has now won all four third-place games it has played at world championship events, three at the FIFA Women’s World Cup (1995, 2003 and 2007) and today at the Olympics.
Lloyd made history just by taking the field to earn her 312th cap, moving into second place on the all-time appearance list for the USWNT and in international soccer overall, women’s or men’s. That was just the start for the legendary U.S. forward as her two goals made her the USA’s all-time leading scorer at the Olympics with 10 tallies – passing Abby Wambach -- and she became the first USWNT player to score in four different Olympics. She has also scored in every Olympic medal match in which she’s played, including the 2008 gold medal match against Brazil and a brace in the 2012 gold medal game against Japan.
The USA got off on the front foot right from the beginning, finding success with its forward line pressing Australia. Rapinoe opened the scoring early with a bang, surprising Australia with an Goal Olimpico, driving her corner kick cross directly into the net in the eighth minute. It was Rapinoe’s fourth career goal at the Olympics and her second such score directly off a corner kick, previously doing so in the 2012 semifinal vs. Canada. Australia’s ever-dangerous striker Sam Kerr equalized in the 17th, but Rapinoe responded in resounding fashion just three minutes later. On a misplayed airborne Australia pass in the penalty area, Rapinoe hit a well-struck full volley into the left side of the net to give the U.S. a lead it would not relinquish.
Rapinoe’s two goals marked her eighth and ninth of 2021 for the USWNT, the most on the team and matching her career best for goals in a calendar year. The forward’s 61 goals are good for 10th in U.S. history, passing Shannon MacMillan.
Playing in perhaps her final Olympic match, Lloyd put an exclamation point on the first half with a goal in the first minute of stoppage time, rifling a hard-hit shot on the run into the lower right side of the net. She netted her second just after the break, chasing down a misplayed Australia header and beating goalkeeper Teagan Micah through her legs on the one-on-opportunity to put the USA up 4-1.
Rapinoe’s brace saw her become the first player in USWNT history to have multiple multi-goal games at the Olympics. She also scored twice in the 2012 Olympic semifinals against Canada. Lloyd matched the feat just a few minutes later, bagging her brace today after netting two goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match against Japan.
Despite the U.S. taking a commanding lead early in the second half, the Matildas get credit for fighting until the final whistle. Australia responded to Lloyd’s second goal with a nice build up in transition, finished off by Caitlin Foord. Then, in the 90th minute, Emily Gielnik ripped an impressive shot from distance to make the final score line 4-3.
U.S. goalkeeper Adrianna Franch got her first start in a world championship in place of the injured Alyssa Naeher. Forward Alex Morgan had to come off in stoppage time with a calf injury after coming on in the 81st minute and the USA had to play the final few minutes with just 10 players.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
USA – Megan Rapinoe, 8th minute: After some early pressure, Rapinoe netted the game’s opening goal directly off a corner kick from the left side. Her well-hit cross flew over goalkeeper Teagan Micah and plowed into the right side of the net. USA 1, AUS 0
AUS – Sam Kerr (Caitlin Foord), 17th minute: Foord jumped on an errant U.S. pass out of the back and played to Kerr, who cracked a shot off the hand of goalkeeper Adriana Franch and into the net to draw Australia even. Kerr’s goal, her 48th international tally, made her the Matildas’ all-time leading scorer. USA 1, AUS 1
USA – Megan Rapinoe, 21st minute: Christen Press served a ball into the middle of the Australian defense in the box and as the Matildas attempted to clear it. Central defender Alanna Kennedy to clear but instead popped the ball up in the air. Rapinoe was lurking on the left side of the box and ran onto the falling ball before smashing a soaring full volley into the top left corner from 12 yards out that froze Micah and gave the U.S. the lead. USA 2, AUS 1
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan), 45+1st minute: Playing in transition in the final moments of the first half, Lindsey Horan did well to fight off a tackle and then play Lloyd on into the left side of the penalty area. Horan’s pass split two Australia defenders and Lloyd took a touch with her right before unleashing a perfect shot with her left to the opposite post for her first goal of the game. USA 3, AUS 1
USA – Carli Lloyd, 51st minute: Snuffing out an Australia attack just after the break, the USWNT cleared the ball from its own half and broke quickly in transition. From just beyond the center circle, Christen Press sent a ball deep into Australia territory looking for Lloyd. Kennedy tried to head it back to Micah, but Lloyd ran the ball down first, drawing the ‘keeper out and sliding it through her legs from the penalty spot to secure her brace. USA 4, AUS 1
AUS – Caitlin Foord (Kyah Simon), 54th minute: Australia responded quickly to Lloyd’s goal to keep things interesting, as Simon played in a nice cross that Foord finished with a clinical header. USA 4, AUS 2
AUS – Emily Gielnik (Caitlin Foord), 90th minute: Battling until the very end, Foord teed up Gielnik for an exclamation point as the clock neared 90 minutes. The forward launched a strike from 25 yards out to draw Australia closer in the game’s final few minutes. USA 4, AUS 3
The USA’s record against Australia now stands at 27-1-4 and 1-0-2 at the Olympics. Over its last five games with Australia, the USA has a record of 2-1-2 and all five matches have been decided by two goals or fewer.
With the result, head coach Vlatko Andonovski is now 24-2-3 in his first 29 games.
Crystal Dunn is the only player to start all six matches for the USA at the Tokyo Olympics and played all but 16 minutes for the USA over the course of the six games.
Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 193rd USWNT cap, passing Brandi Chastain to move into 13th on the all-time appearance list.
Sauerbrunn also broke the record for most USWNT caps without scoring a goal. The mark was previously held by current USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf, who scored her first – and only – goal for the USWNT in her 193rd cap.
Lloyd made her 22nd Olympic appearance, tying Christie Pearce Rampone for the most in USWNT history.
Lloyd and Horan are the only two players to appear in all 18 matches for the USA so far in 2021.
Rapinoe and Lloyd became the seventh and eighth different players to score for the USWNT at the Olympics, breaking the record of seven previously held by the 2008 Olympic Team for the most players to score in a single Olympic tournament.
Horan’s assist was her fifth of the year, tied for second on the team.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Australia
Date: August 5, 2021
Competition: Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Bronze Medal Match
Venue: Kashima Stadium; Kashima, Japan
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
AUS 1 2 3
USA – Megan Rapinoe 8th minute
AUS – Sam Kerr (Caitlin Foord) 17
USA – Megan Rapinoe 21
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan) 45+1
USA – Carli Lloyd 51
AUS – Caitlin Foord (Kyah Simon) 54
AUS – Emily Gielnik (Caitlin Foord) 90
USA: 18-Adrianna Franch; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 12-Tierna Davidson, 2-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis (16-Rose Lavelle, 61), 9-Lindsey Horan; 11-Christen Press (14-Emily Sonnett, 85), 10-Carli Lloyd (13-Alex Morgan, 81), 15-Megan Rapinoe (7-Tobin Heath, 61)
Substitutes not used: 22-Jane Campbell, 6-Kristie Mewis, 17-Abby Dahlkemper
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
AUS: 18-Teagan Micah; 4-Clare Polkinghorne (15-Emily Gielnik, 73), 14-Alanna Kennedy, 7-Steph Catley; 16-Hayley Raso (19-Courtney Nevin, 67), 10-Emily Van Egmond, 6-Chloe Logarzo (3-Kyra Cooney-Cross, 67), 13-Tameka Yallop (21-Laura Brock, 87); 17-Kyah Simon (11-Mary Fowler, 67), 2-Sam Kerr (Capt.), 9-Caitlin Foord
Substitutes not used: 1-Lydia Williams, 5-Aivi Luik
Head coach: Tony Gustavsson
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 19 / 13
Shots on Goal: 9 / 4
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 8
Offside: 1 / 1
Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
AR1: Mariana De Almeida (ARG)
AR2: Mary Blanco (COL)
4th Official: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd