| 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 StatesUSA6001816–6Gold
5Great BritainGBR30195–2
8New ZealandNZL10333–5
9Democratic People's Republic of KoreaPRK10232–6
10South AfricaRSA01211–7

Preliminary Round (25 – 31 July 2012)

Group E (25 – 31 July 2012)

Round-robin pool.


Match #1 25 Jul 16:00GBR 1 – 0NZL
Match #2 25 Jul 18:45BRA 5 – 0CMR
Match #3 28 Jul 14:30BRA 1 – 0NZL
Match #4 28 Jul 17:15GBR 3 – 0CMR
Match #5 31 Jul 19:45NZL 2 – 1CMR
Match #6 31 Jul 19:45GBR 1 – 0BRA

Group F (25 – 31 July 2012)

Round-robin pool.


Match #1 25 Jul 17:00JPN 2 – 1CAN
Match #2 25 Jul 19:45SWE 4 – 1RSA
Match #3 28 Jul 12:00JPN 0 – 0SWE
Match #4 28 Jul 14:45CAN 3 – 0RSA
Match #5 31 Jul 14:30JPN 0 – 0RSA
Match #6 31 Jul 14:30CAN 2 – 2SWE

Group G (25 – 31 July 2012)

Round-robin pool.


Match #1 25 Jul 17:00USA 4 – 2FRA
Match #2 25 Jul 20:50PRK 2 – 0COL
Match #3 28 Jul 17:00USA 3 – 0COL
Match #4 28 Jul 19:45FRA 5 – 0PRK
Match #5 31 Jul 17:15USA 1 – 0PRK
Match #6 31 Jul 17:15FRA 1 – 0COL

Quarter-Finals (3 August 2012)

Winners of each match advanced to semi-finals.

Match #1 03 Aug 12:00CAN 2 – 0GBR
Match #2 03 Aug 14:30USA 2 – 0NZL
Match #3 03 Aug 17:00FRA 2 – 1SWE
Match #4 03 Aug 19:30JPN 2 – 0BRA

Semi-Finals (6 August 2012)

Winners of each match advanced to final round.

Match #1 06 Aug 17:00USA 4 – 3
Match #2 06 Aug 19:45JPN 2 – 1FRA

Final Round (9 August 2012)

Medal round.

Match 1/2 09 Aug 19:45USA 2 – 1JPN
Match 3/4 09 Aug 13:00CAN 1 – 0FRA


Shots on Goal
Fouls Committed
Yellow Cards
Red Cards