21 August 2008 – Carli Lloyd’s Gold-Medal Goal
On 21 August 2008, the United States women won their third Olympic gold medal, beating Brazil in extra time.
It was the fourth straight appearance in the gold medal match for the US, who had won it twice before, including a 2-1 extra time win over Brazil in 2004. The two teams had developed a healthy rivalry, intensified by Brazil’s 4-0 drubbing of the US in the 2007 World Cup that cost manager Greg Ryan his job. The 2008 Olympics were the first major tournament for his successor, Pia Sundhage.
Played before a crowd of 51,612 at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, the final was a fluid, attacking affair that nonetheless failed to produce a goal in the first 90 minutes. The best chance of the day fell to Brazilian star Marta in the 72nd minute when she slipped through the US defense and fired from point-blank range. But goalkeeper Hope Solo managed to get a hand on the ball and stopped the shot.
Then, in the 96th minute, a charging Carli Lloyd (pictured) passed the ball to Amy Rodriguez, who quickly returned the ball. Lloyd drove a shot in from just outside the box, crossing the face of the goal and beating Brazil’s keeper, Barbara.
Brazil pressed hard for an equalizer, with both Marta and Cristiane creating chances, but the US defense held firm to preserve the 1-0 victory.