US women’s football team seeks to extend dominance in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 22 (IANS) US women’s football team playmaker Carli Lloyd has admitted that rival teams will “be coming after us” at next year’s Olympics.

The Americans have won the last three Olympic gold medals and four of the five Olympic tournaments that have been staged, taking silver at Sydney 2000. They also won this year’s World cup final by defeating Japan 5-2 in July, a match remembered for Lloyd’s stunning hat-trick, reports Xinhua.

“We pride ourselves in winning. We never go to a competition trying to come second. We know it’s going to be hard, we’ve faced lots of challenges and the journey hasn’t always been easy, but we’re able to stay together as a unit,” Lloyd told Rio2016.com on Friday.

“That’s what makes us special. Even though we’ve won the last three, we know it’ll never be easy. Teams are going to be coming after us.”

Lloyd has played a pivotal role in the US’ recent dominance of international football.

Apart from her masterful three-goal performance against Japan in Vancouver, the 33-year-old scored an extra-time winner in the US’ 1-0 win over Brazil in the Beijing 2008 final and both goals in the 2-1 defeat of Japan at London 2012.

When asked how she managed to find something extra when her team most needed it, Lloyd replied: “I think it’s just the years of preparation and the mentality of being a fierce competitor, of digging deep when everything is on the line.”

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