Monday, August 26, 2013

26 August 2004 - A Pattern Starts To Emerge

On 26 August 2004, the United States women won Olympic gold, beating Brazil in the final with an extra-time goal from Abby Wambach.

The two teams had met several times in major tournaments, including the 2000 Olympics, the 1991 World Cup and the 1999 World Cup, and their most recent meeting in the group stage of the 2004 Olympics. The US won every meeting, but this was the first time they had met in a final. The game took additional meaning as the last competitive appearance for US stars Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Joy Fawcett.

Playing at the Kiraiskaki Stadium in Piraeus, the US took the lead with a 39th-minute goal from winger Lindsay Tarpleya 24-yard rocket that flew just inside the left post. They held on to it deep into the second half, but just seven minutes from the end of regulation, Brazilian forward Pretinha equalized and the match went into extra time.

Then, in the 112th minute, the US earned a corner. Kristine Lilly took the kick, which found Wambach ten yards out. The forward rose to the ball and sent it into the net with a powerful header to claim the 2-1 win.

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