BEIJING (AP) -- Outplayed and overwhelmed for most of the night, the Americans got the only shot they needed.
Olympic champions, once again.
Carli Lloyd scored in the sixth minute of extra time Thursday night, Hope Solo bailed out her teammates time and again, and the United States beat Brazil 1-0 to win the gold medal in women's soccer for a third time in four Olympics. As the final whistle sounded, the Americans charged across the field, hugging anyone in sight. Someone handed out flags, and several players took off, running.
"The team is definitely on a high right now, believing we were going to make a statement in the whole tournament," captain Christie Rampone said. "It didn't start like we wanted to, but we just kept digging and getting better each game. It was a full team effort, and it was so special with everyone doing it together."
The victory was a bit of redemption for the Americans, who went to the World Cup as favorites last fall only to be humbled 4-0 in the semifinals by Brazil. And for no one was it sweeter than Solo, who was banished from the World Cup bronze medal game after criticizing then-coach Greg Ryan for not playing her against Brazil even though she'd allowed only two goals in four World Cup starts, and had a shutout streak of nearly 300 minutes going.
Several minutes after the game ended, Solo sprinted back out onto the field, a gaudy imitation gold medal around her neck, a phone to her ear and a bright smile on her face. She closed her eyes when the American anthem began playing, and bounced proudly and gripped her medal when the team posed for pictures afterward. A few fans in the crowd chanted, "We want Hope! We want Hope!"
Well payback is a bitch! After getting owned in the World Cup, the USA steals the gold. And its all because of hottie Hope Solo. Hope got benched in the World Cup and took criticism because she said the US would have won if she played. Well you know what, she was right. Hope dominant the net during this match. And she looked good doing it. I expect nothing less from the off spring of one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance that took down the Empire.