The American star put her country 1-0 up with a sublime effort at the Kashima Stadium
United States Women’s national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored directly from a corner in their Olympics bronze medal match against Australia.
The USWNT are fighting for the consolation prize of a bronze medal, which they also won in the Rio 2016 Games, after being stunned by Canada in the semi-finals.
Australia were denied a final berth by Sweden, and fell behind in the third-place tie after just eight minutes, with Rapinoe producing one of the goals of the tournament to put her country in front.
The USWNT were rewarded for their early pressure with a corner from the right-hand touchline, which Rapinoe went to take after being restored to Vlatko Andonovski’s starting XI.
The 36-year-old whipped in a beautiful cross with her right foot that deceived the Australia goalkeeper and nestled into the far corner of the net, sparking wild scenes of celebration on the American bench.
Rapinoe has now scored directly from a corner in two Olympic Games, repeating the trick after her successful effort against Canada at London 2012, which was the last time the United States won a gold medal.
The United States’ lead in the match didn’t last long, with Sam Kerr hitting an equaliser shortly after Rapinoe’s opener to become the all-time top scorer in Australia’s history with 48 goals.
However, Rapinoe then popped up with another moment of magic in the 21st minute, rifling home a powerful volley to give Andonovski’s team the advantage once again.