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US Women's Soccer Vs. Japan: Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo Make USA Golden Again

The U.S. women's soccer team won gold for the third consecutive Olympics Thursday evening, defeating Japan, 2-1 and avenging last year's loss to that nation in the Women's World Cup in Germany.

Carli Lloyd was the offensive hero for the United States, scoring both American goals either side of halftime. The first goal came in the 8th minute, when Lloyd stooped down to head an Alex Morgan cross from the left byline into the net. The midfielder doubled the American advantage in the 54th minute after running several yards with the ball and thumping a shot past the Japanese goalkeeper Miko Fukumoto.

But the Americans didn't have it all their way. Japan's Aya Miyama hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute with the U.S. still up 1-0. Hope Solo made two brilliant saves to deny Yuki Ogimi, and Japan had a very reasonable claim for a penalty when Tobin Heath appeared to handle the ball in the area off a Japanese free kick.

Japan did manage to pull a goal back in the 63rd minute, when Ogimi emerged from a goal mouth scramble to score at close range. But Japan could not equalize, as Solo was called into action in the 83rd minute, diving to make a save from Mana Iwabuchi.

For a complete schedule of events and dates medals will be awarded, visit NBC Sports' official Olympic website. For complete coverage from the 2012 London Olympics, keep checking this StoryStream and visit SB Nation's Olympics hub.