The United States continued their domination of the Olympic women's football tournament with a 2-1 victory against world champions Japan in the gold-medal match at Wembley.
The US have now triumphed in four of the five Games since the first women's competition in Atlanta in 1996. Their latest success, thanks to two goals from Carli Lloyd, was secured in front of an Olympic record crowd of 80,203.
Lloyd stooped to head in Alex Morgan's cross after eight minutes. Hope Solo made a stunning reflex save from Yuki Ogimi to protect the US's lead, which was doubled on 54 minutes when Lloyd ran at the Japan defence and hit a right-footed shot which went across the face of goal and into the net.
Ogimi scrambled in her third of the tournament to reduce Japan's arrears, but Lloyd and Co held on to retain their crown and bring an end to a thrilling two-week competition.
Japan had reached the showpiece by way of a 2-1 win against Europe's last representatives, France, in the semi-finals. They had prevailed 2-0 against Brazil in the last eight, where Les Bleues came from behind to beat UEFA Women's EURO 2013 hosts Sweden.
The US had made it into the final by edging out rivals Canada 4-3 after extra time three days earlier. Prior to that last-four encounter, Pia Sundhage's team accounted for New Zealand, while Canada ended the hopes of Great Britain, who had impressively matched the US's feat of qualifying from the group stage with a 100% record.
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