The US women’s soccer team advanced to the Olympic gold medal match on Monday after what was one of the most exciting few minutes of the London Games. The US defeated Canada 4-3 in extra time to score a date against Japan in the finals on Thursday. After Abby Wambach scored yet another goal to tie the game at 3-3 in the 80th minute, Alex Morgan added what would become the game-winner on a beautiful header that she floated over Canada goalie Erin McLeod’s head.
The goal was arguably the most thrilling moment of the London Olympics for the US, who never led in the match until extra time. The win sets up a rematch against Japan, which as you may remember is the team that defeated the US in a heart-breaking game that came down to penalty kicks in the World Cup final last summer.
Christine Sinclair scored all three goals for Canada and was easily the player of the game, but Morgan’s header overshadowed her amazing performance. With a trip to the gold medal game this year, the US women’s team has now advanced to every Summer Olympic final since women’s soccer became an Olympic sport in 1996.
Morgan scored twice in the US’s Olympic opener against France, but she hadn’t scored in the three games prior to Monday’s. She has done plenty to set up Wambach and her other teammates in addition to making headlines with this knee to the New Zealand goalie’s face, but Morgan had been facing some criticism throughout the tournament for not being the scorer many were expecting.
“I’m still in shock,” Morgan said after the game according to the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve said all along, I don’t care who scores as long as we win.”
Wambach agreed, but added that she knew it wouldn’t be long before Morgan silenced the doubters.
“I’m really happy that Alex Morgan’s on my team,” Wambach said. “I told you, she’d score a goal that would make everyone shut up, and I think she did.”
With Wambach playing some of the best soccer of her career and Morgan’s confidence peaking at the perfect time, the US should have a tremendous chance to take down Japan and retain the gold medal later this week.