Stunning brace by Carli Lloyd guides USA to gold against Japan in front of Olympic record crowd at Wembley

United States 2 Japan 1

Wembley

She had spoken of “redemption” for missing a penalty in the shoot-out of the World Cup final against Japan a year ago and Carli Lloyd, the 30 year-old United States midfielder, left nothing to chance in achieving it tonight.

Having headed the first goal early on, she drove in the second from 20 yards and continued to play her part as Japan fought back superbly in a compelling final watched by a women's Olympic record crowd of 80,203.

In the end, however, there was no keeping the Americans from winning their fourth gold medal out of the five Olympic tournaments since women's football was introduced in 1996.

Some three inches smaller on average, Japan declined to be inhibited, kept playing their neat passing football and did not deserve to be even one goal behind at the interval. After Lloyd's double, Yuki Omigi halved the deficit but the best chance to equalise disappeared seven minutes from the end when Hope Solo in goal kept out the young substitute Mana Iwabuchi.

The Americans' coach Pia Sundhage promised that her team would add to their total of 14 goals in the previous five games and they had done so after only eight minutes. A well worked effort it was too, as Tobin Heath crossed low to Alex Morgan, whose chip to the far post found two attackers homing in. Abby Wambach, seeking a sixth goal in as many matches, swung her left foot but was beaten to the draw by Lloyd, arriving from midfield to head in.

Twice before half-time the crossbar kept the Japanese out. First, Solo did well to push Ogimi's header onto the frame of the goal and later the same player struck the bar with a fine drive. Shinobu Ohno curled an equally good effort just wide and Japan should have been given a penalty when Heath handled a free-kick.

Eight minutes into the second half, they fell further behind as Lloyd was sent away by Megan Rapinoe to score what would eventually prove the decisive goal; but only after the Americans had been pushed all the way to the podium.

Earlier Canada beat France 1-0 to take the bronze medal, which they were presented with at Wembley after rushing down from the City of Coventry Stadium.

Japan: Fukumoto; Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima; Miyama, Sakaguchi, Sawa, Kawasumi; Ogimi, Ohno.

USA: Solo; Peilbet, Rampone, Buehler, O’Hara; Rapinoe, Boxx, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan, Wambach.

Referee: B Steinhaus (Germany)

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Chosen to lead the women's wing of the ruling Zanu-PF, the wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding the 90-year old
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution