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​Women's Olympic Football Bronze Medal: Clinical USA punish Australia for bronze

USA gained some consolation for a disappointing Olympics by taking the bronze medal with a 4-3 success over Australia. After reaching the final of every women's Olympic football event since its introduction in 1996, the US have now failed to reach the final in successive Games.

For the Matildas it was disappointment even if it was their best placed finish ever in the Women's Olympic football competition.

The US have won 83% of their women's 'A' internationals against Australia and whilst history was again on their side the Americans were made to work hard for their win against a team who never gave up but in the end the US took full advantage of the Matildas defensive frailties.

After a lively start from Australia it was the US who took an early lead when Megan Rapinoe scored direct from a corner with questions being asked of keeper Teagan Micah. The lead was almost doubled but Micah saved well from Christen Press.

But with the US dominating it was the Australia who levelled through Sam Kerr with an angled finish to become the Matildas record goalscorer with 48 goals.

The US responded within 4 minutes and Australia's rearguard was again at fault failing to clear their lines and when the ball dropped to Rapinoe she hit a glorious first time volley to regain the lead.

Carli Lloyd had an effort saved as the Matildas defence looked to be rocking but it seemed they would head in at the break just a goal behind until just before half time Lloyd needed just one touch followed by a fierce cross shot to give the US A two goal cushion.

And Lloyd it was who looked to have settled the game shortly after the restart as she pounced on Alanna Kennedy's poor headed back pass for number four.

Credit to the Matildas for battling back and a Caitlin Foord header reduced the deficit giving them hope and then Kerr's glancing header hit the inside of the post before being scrambled clear.

Ye it was the US who should have made the game safe but missed a host of chances as the opposition tired and it almost proved costly as in the last minute a tremendous long range effort by Emily Gielnik made it 4-3.

The US had to endure a nervy 5 minutes of added time before being able to claim the bronze medal as the number one team in women's football finally overcame the team ranked number nine.

Full Time

Australia: 3 (Kerr 17, Foord 54, Gielnik 89)

USA: 4 (Rapinoe 8, 21, Lloyd 45, 51)

Venue: Kashima Stadium, Kashima

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Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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