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Gay Watch at the Olympics: U.S. women's soccer team to play for the gold

(Editor’s note: Gay Watch at the Olympics is a regular feature keeping track of the nearly two dozen LGBT athletes at London 2012. But here is a spoiler alert! In the U.S., NBC is tape-delaying much of the London 2012 Olympics on its various stations, yet live-streaming on the Internet. Some of the results listed below may not have yet been broadcast in your area.)

A gritty United States women’s soccer team would not take “no” for an answer, rallying from behind all match long to defeat a determined Canada team at the 2012 Olympics.

The U.S. won 4-3 with just seconds left in extra time, thus avoiding a penalty-kick shootout. Alex Morgan scored on a header in the 122nd minute for the game winner.

The United States will play for the gold medal against Japan in a match that will begin at 11:30 am PDT on Thursday at historic Wimbley Stadium in London. The Americans will be making their fifth consecutive appearance in the gold medal game, and have won Olympic gold in 1996, 2004 and 2008. The U.S. won the silver medal in 2000.

But Monday at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, the Americans got the best possible play from Canada, a team the U.S. has dominated since 2001 by winning 23 games and tying four without a loss. The Canadians dogged the Americans from the opening minutes, tackling hard and often.

Christine Sinclair, the leading scorer in women’s soccer at the Olympics, scored a hat trick with impressive goals in the 22nd minute, 67th minute and 73rd minute. But each time Canada took a one-goal lead, the United States would answer with a tying goal.

Megan Rapinoe, a lesbian who starts at right midfielder for the Americans, played an outstanding match and kept the U.S. in contention by scoring tying goals in the 54th minute and the 70th minute. Her first goal was unbelievable. Rapinoe took the corner kick, curling the ball toward the near corner of the net, and the ball nicked the legs of a defender and goalkeeper Erin McLeod and rolled into the goal.

After Sinclair had given Canada a 2-1 lead, Rapinoe took a hard shot from just outside the box that sailed into the goal after glancing off the far post.

Then after Sinclair scored her third goal, Abby Wambach scored on a penalty kick to tie the match.

The Americans had two other shots late in the match that could have cost Canada dearly, one missing an open net and another bouncing off the top post.

Now, the United States can find redemption with a win against Japan. The top-ranked Americans lost a stunner on penalty kicks to Japan in the World Cup championship in 2011.

Women’s field hockey

The powerful Netherlands, led by lesbians Marilyn Agliotti, Maartje Paumen and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, finished unbeaten in Group A play by knocking off Great Britain 2-1 on Monday.

The Dutch and British both advance to the knockout round.

(Editor’s note: Ken Williams, Editor in Chief of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, is a former sports writer who has watched every single Olympic Games since he was a kid. He has covered a Super Bowl for Scripps-Howard News, and has attended several World Series games, soccer and baseball playoff games, and even a World Cup soccer match. Williams will be keeping an eye on the LGBT Olympians at the London 2012 Olympics in his ongoing column, Gay Watch at the Olympics.)