It is a golden chance for the U.S women footballers to take revenge on their Japanese counterparts. In the women’s soccer final at the 2012 London Olympics, USA takes on their World Cup 2011 final rivals. For the U.S., the final is quite decisive as it has to defend its superior track record (three consecutive golds) in Olympic football. And further, the U.S has to vanquish Japan in revenge of their loss in the last year World Cup final. For Japan, on the other hand, it is an opportunity to prove that its World Cup victory was not a fluke at all.
The United States rallied to the final with a 4-3 win over its neighbour Canada and Japan strode to the gold medal match with a 2-1 victory over France. The U.S has been the Olympic final participant since the introduction of women football in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. “The U.S. will be going for revenge and its third-straight gold medal. Japan will be playing in its first Olympic final to try to show its World Cup win was not a fluke,” writes the Washington Post. Indeed, this thread puts the upcoming Japan Vs U.S women’s football final notable.
Pathways to the final
For Japan, entry to the 2012 Olympic football final was almost trouble-free at Wembley. The Asian country simply surpassed the French challenge in the semifinal with a two-goal lead. The victory was also blessed with a missed penalty shot by the French in the final moments of the game. “Since 2008 we have had an objective to win a medal at the Olympics, the attitude of the players to win this game was strong. The mental part makes the difference at this stage,” said Norio Sasaki, the Japan coach.
Well, the Japanese passed the French challenge quite easily. For the team, striker Yuki Ogimi shot the first goal in the 32nd minute. The next goal came from Mizuho Sakaguchi in the 49th minute. The only reply from France came from Eugenie le Sommer in the 75th. But, the team unfortunately missed a golden chance to make a goal in form of a penalty kick when only seconds remained for the windup. Midfielder Elise Bussaglia missed the shot to the shock of French fans.
“I feel horrible. It is a shameful feeling,” Bussaglia said after the match. “I opened up my body too much and the ball went wide. We miss the final now so it is a big disappointment and it’s shameful.”
The U.S. struggled a bit against Canada to find victory in the seminal and make it to the final. The three-time Olympic gold winners waited until the injury time to break a nervous draw of three goals. Alex Morgan headed the ball into the post by receiving a cross from Heather O’Reilly when there were only a few moments for the final whistle.
“This team refuses to lose and always finds a way to win,” said the U.S. coach Pia Sundhage afterward. “There is something special, about this team.”