The United States Women’s National Team won their first bronze medal in the team’s history with a 4-3 win over Australia. Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Adrianna Franch and Becky Sauerbrunn started for the USWNT. Franch made her first Olympic start.
The U.S. and the Matildas played out a 0-0 draw in their Group G matchday three meeting in which neither team looked to dictate the tempo of the match. This match would play out differently.
Both teams pressed to open the match. The Matildas started on the front foot but the U.S. were able to withstand the Australian press and capitalize. In the 8th minute, Dunn drove past two defenders and cut it back to Christen Press. Press struck it first time and it was saved for a corner. Megan Rapinoe went to take the corner. She wrapped her foot around the service-turned-shot and swung the ball past the Australian keeper and into the net to score an ‘olimpico’ in the Olympics for the second time in her career.
The U.S. were the better team throughout the first half but a mistake allowed the Matildas to get back in the match. Tierna Davidson had a pass out of the back intercepted by Caitlin Foord. She slid Sam Kerr into the box. Kerr smashed a shot toward the near post which deflected off Franch and into the net.
Two minutes later Australia had the chance to take the lead. Tameka Yallop played an in-swinging cross to Kerr, who snapped it on target. Franch was up to the task and parried it wide.
In the 21st minute, the USWNT regained the lead. Alanna Kennedy shanked a Press clearance. It floated to Rapinoe who smashed a thunderous volley into the back of the net. The U.S. continued to pile on the pressure and created multiple chances to score a third, including a penalty shout.
The U.S. would get their third first-half goal in stoppage time. Horan bundled an Aussie ball carrier off the ball and played an outside of the boot pass to Carli Lloyd, who made a run between two defenders. She took an exceptional first touch and placed her shot in the far corner of the goal.
Lloyd struck again in the 51st minute to become the top American goal-scorer in Olympic history. Press lofted a ball toward Lloyd. Kennedy attempted to head it to her keeper but Lloyd read it and ran onto it and slotted the ball between Teagan Micah’s legs and into the goal.
Foord pulled one back within a minute. Australian picked up the ball in the Americans’ final third. Kyah Simon curled it to Foord. She launched her header in by Franch’s far post. Kerr flicked her header off the post moments later as the U.S. struggled to deal with the Matildas’ crosses.
Horan almost provided her second assist of the match to Lloyd in the 65th minute. The midfielder played Lloyd into the box. Lloyd attempted a side-footed shot but curled it right at Micah.
Lloyd had the ball in the back of the net in the 70th minute but it was flagged for offside. Substitutes Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan almost linked up for a tap-in in the 87th minute but Morgan couldn’t extend her leg far enough to get a touch.
Austalia cut the lead to one goal with minutes to go in the match. Emily Gielnik drove through the defense and fired from distance. Her shot whistled through the air and past Franch.
The USWNT were able to close out the match and win their first-ever Olympic bronze medal.