Carli Lloyd scored in the 8th minute to give the United States an early lead when she headed Alex Morgan's cross into the back of the net. Lloyd stuck her head out in front of Abby Wambach's foot to claim the goal.
But momentum soon shifted to Japan, which caused trouble for the U.S. defense throughout the first half. U.S. goalkeeper
Hope Solo managed to get a fingertip on Yuki Ogimi's header in the 18th minute to push it off the crossbar and maintain the United States' lead.
Japan captain Aya Miyama also hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute and four minutes later, Shinobu Ohno struck her shot inches wide of the post.
Lloyd scored her second of the game in the 57th minute when she struck a knuckling shot into the net from 18 yards out. The goal was reminiscent of her game-winning goal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Ogimi did get on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute after a scramble in the box, but it wasn't enough for Japan.
Solo came up with big saves throughout the match, including in the 83rd minute when she denied Mana Iwabuchi from point-blank range.