Team USA celebrates after defeating Canada and heading to the finals where they face Japan. (Photo : REUTERS/David Moir )
Redemption seems to be the word buzzing around the women's soccer gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics. The United States will face off against Japan at 2:35 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 9 to try and defeat the team that beat them in the 2011 World Cup.
But more may be at stake than a simple shot at revenge - immortality might be a better word. The U.S. women's soccer team is the most decorated women's soccer team in the Olympics ever since the women's soccer tournament was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The U.S. team won in 1996, 2004, and 2008, with Norway taking the gold in 2000. A victory in London against Japan would give the U.S. team three consecutive golds, and would mean they have won four of the five women's Olympic soccer tournaments. If it hasn't already, the United States could be regarded as the first dominant country in Olympic women's soccer history.
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The United States comes into the final match being unbeaten. Japan hasn't lost, but picked up two draws in the first round group stages against Sweden and South Africa. Keep in mind also that the United States is flying high, and tired, after a dramatic 123rd minute goal from Alex Morgan against Canada in the semifinals to keep the game from going into a penalty shootout.
The United States is currently ranked first by FIFA and Japan is ranked third. The two teams delivered a suspenseful game last year at the World Cup, so expect this final to be a good one.
Team USA Roster
Japanese Team Roster
2012 Olympic Women's Soccer Gold Medal Match:
Thursday, August 9, 2:35 p.m. EDT
Watch the game live online at NBC's official website
Watch the game on TV using NBC's local TV guide