Time stood still for Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd for over an hour.
For what may have been their last Olympic game, and possibly their last game at any big international competition, the team played with the kind of reckless abandon the rest of the USWNT has been lacking.
With two goals apiece, they restored American confidence by displaying the kind of opportunism that has made them two of the most dangerous players in the world.
Any Sports Club would be Envious of that Level of Reliability and Success.
In preparation for this one, I tried to adopt a new frame of mind. “I haven’t made any formal announcement just yet, but it’s quite clear that I’m wrapping up my career,” Lloyd remarked. The trip over to the game was unlike any other. Just mulling over a lot of thoughts at the moment. My only goal was to do anything I could to ensure that this squad took home a medal.
Lloyd remarked, “This isn’t some cheap bronze for finishing third in the World Cup. It’s a medal with a completely different hue. Still, that medal we’re taking home with us is something to be proud of.
The United States women’s team has been unrivalled for the better part of a decade, and they have won the last two World Cups. You only need to look at their paper roster to know that they are the best team in the world.
Until the bronze medal game against Australia, its absence was evident. The Americans were shut out in two of their three group games and dropped their opener against Sweden. In the quarterfinals, they narrowly beat the Netherlands on penalties, and in the semis, they suffered their first loss to Canada in 20 years.
After that defeat, the American coaches and players got together for a meeting. The team members then took a seat and conferred.
However, They have a Common Goal: Victory. Badly. Each and Every Time.
Lloyd, who is 39 years old, and Rapinoe, who is 36 years old, have yet to make a final decision regarding her future, though Lloyd came close after the game. Yet, they did not wish to go out on a loss or a subpar showing if this were their final appearance on the world’s grandest stage.
After eight minutes of play, the USWNT was awarded a corner kick, which Rapinoe duly took. Instead of hitting a teammate in the head or foot or bouncing off an Australian, the ball she sent on a shallow arc ended up in the back of the net for an olimpico.
Or close to it, with replays revealing Australian goalie Teagan Micah might have gotten the very edge of her thumb on it.)
Olimpicos are unusual since they usually come from direct free kicks. In reality, though, this is Rapinoe’s second Olympic olimpico; she also competed in 2012.
The magnificent goal appeared to unlock something in the American team, which was already playing with more vigour. After Australia had equalised for a brief moment, Rapinoe scored the winning goal for the USWNT on a thundering volley in the 21st minute, capitalising on a poor clearance from the Australian defence.
Then it was Lloyd’s time. She scored a fantastic goal in the second minute of first-half stoppage time by controlling a feed from Lindsey Horan with her right foot and unleashing a left-footed rocket to the far post. In the 51st minute, she scored again after she dropped a Matildas defender and went one-on-one with Micah.
Accumulating Medals and Certificates is the Goal. Or, Failing that, a Medal will do.
Lloyd said, “I’m incredibly proud of the way we persevered, the way we turned things around.” Nothing beats the satisfaction of winning a medal and taking it home with you.
Both Lloyd and Rapinoe have been instrumental in what has been the USWNT’s best period of success to date. The U.S. team has triumphed at the last two World Cups and the 2012 Olympics.
Lloyd played a key role in the 2008 gold-winning squad, scoring the decisive goal. Thanks for reading our article Opinion Carli lloyd And Megan Rapinoe are Game-Changers Again …