| Event type

Football, Women

Date25 July – 9 August 2012
LocationCity of Coventry Stadium, Coventry / Hampden Park, Glasgow / Stadiwm y Mileniwm, Cardiff / Old Trafford, Manchester / St James' Park, Newcastle / Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London
Participants200 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of four teams.

Looking at past Olympic results, the United States looked certain to win the gold, having previously won three out of four competitions, including the two most recent ones, but at recent World Cups, the US had failed to win the title. The 2003 and 2007 World Cup champion Germany failed to qualify for the Olympics, but the most recent winner, Japan, did make the cut. Other favorites included Brazil, arguably featuring the best female player in the world (Marta), and France.

The tournament got off to a bad start, as the pool match between North Korea and Colombia was delayed for an hour. The South Korean flag had been displayed next to one of the North Korean players during the team introduction, causing the entire team to march off until the issue was rectified. All favored teams proceed to the quarter-finals, although Japan had failed to impress, drawing 0-0 in two of its matches. Great Britain proved a surprise, winning their group ahead of Brazil, but the hosts were ousted by Canada in the quarter-finals. The US and France also proceeded, while Japan knocked out Brazil, 2-0.

The Japanese women proceeded into the final after a 2-1 victory over France. The other semi was more of a battle. Canada’s Christine Sinclair put her team ahead three times, each time seeing the Americans draw level, the third time when Abby Wambach converted her penalty given over a disputed handball call. Wambach’s goal was her 158th international goal, equalling the record held by former American star Mia Hamm. The two teams had nearly finished the second half of overtime when Alex Morgan headed in a cross from Heather O’Reilly, a full four minutes into added time. The Canadians later found redemption by claiming the bronze medal against France.

As in the 2011 World Cup final, the US and Japan were evenly matched. The Americans closed out an opening offensive with a goal from Carli Lloyd after just 8 minutes. The Japanese then came close to scoring, but US goalkeeper Hope Solo, the woodwork and a non-allowed penalty kept them from doing so. A few minutes into the second half, Lloyd fired a long-distance shot to double the advantage. Shortly after, Yuki Ogimi finally scored. Solo (save) and Amy LePeilbet (line clearance) then kept the US goal clear, holding on to win the team’s fourth gold in five Olympics.

1United StatesUSAGold
5Great BritainGBR
8New ZealandNZL
9Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK
10South AfricaRSA

Preliminary Round

Date25 – 31 July 2012

Group E

1Great BritainGBR30095-0Q
3New ZealandNZL10233-3q
Match #125 Jul 16:00Great BritainGBR1 – 0New ZealandNZL
Match #225 Jul 18:45BrazilBRA5 – 0CameroonCMR
Match #328 Jul 14:30BrazilBRA1 – 0New ZealandNZL
Match #428 Jul 17:15Great BritainGBR3 – 0CameroonCMR
Match #531 Jul 19:45New ZealandNZL2 – 1CameroonCMR
Match #631 Jul 19:45Great BritainGBR1 – 0BrazilBRA

Group F

4South AfricaRSA01211-7
Match #125 Jul 17:00JapanJPN2 – 1CanadaCAN
Match #225 Jul 19:45SwedenSWE4 – 1South AfricaRSA
Match #328 Jul 12:00JapanJPN0 – 0SwedenSWE
Match #428 Jul 14:45CanadaCAN3 – 0South AfricaRSA
Match #531 Jul 14:30JapanJPN0 – 0South AfricaRSA
Match #631 Jul 14:30CanadaCAN2 – 2SwedenSWE

Group G

1United StatesUSA30098-2Q
3Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK10232-6
Match #125 Jul 17:00United StatesUSA4 – 2FranceFRA
Match #225 Jul 20:50Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK2 – 0ColombiaCOL
Match #328 Jul 17:00United StatesUSA3 – 0ColombiaCOL
Match #428 Jul 19:45FranceFRA5 – 0Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK
Match #531 Jul 17:15United StatesUSA1 – 0Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK
Match #631 Jul 17:15FranceFRA1 – 0ColombiaCOL


Date3 August 2012
FormatWinners of each match advanced to semi-finals.
Match #103 Aug 12:00CanadaCAN2 – 0Great BritainGBR
Match #203 Aug 14:30United StatesUSA2 – 0New ZealandNZL
Match #303 Aug 17:00FranceFRA2 – 1SwedenSWE
Match #403 Aug 19:30JapanJPN2 – 0BrazilBRA


Date6 August 2012
FormatWinners of each match advanced to final round.
Match #106 Aug 17:00United StatesUSA4 – 3CanadaCANAET
Match #206 Aug 19:45JapanJPN2 – 1FranceFRA

Final Round

Date9 August 2012
FormatMedal round.
Match 1/209 Aug 19:45United StatesUSA2 – 1JapanJPN
Match 3/409 Aug 13:00CanadaCAN1 – 0FranceFRA