It appeared the rest of her teammates decided to kneel as a protest against racism and discrimination before the bronze-medal match against Australia. Lloyd was standing next to the referee of the match while the Australian soccer team stood in unity.
The U.S. women’s soccer team drew criticism at the start of the Olympics when players knelt before the official match against Sweden. In that one, the U.S. would lose 3-0.
It was a different tune on Thursday.
Megan Rapinoe scored two goals and Lloyd added to her own U.S. Olympic record with two goals of her own. Rapinoe and Lloyd were all the U.S. needed in the 4-3 win.
Rapinoe’s first goal came in the eighth minute of the match. She scored on an impressive corner kick that she was able to bend around Australian goalkeeper Teagan Micah. About 13 minutes later, Rapinoe capitalized on an Australia error and delivered a laser beam into the back of the net.
Julie Ertz #8 of Team United States kneels on the field during the Olympic football bronze medal match between United States and Australia at Kashima Stadium on August 05, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images)
Lloyd scored right before the end of the first half and then again right after the start of the second half. She became the first U.S. women’s soccer player to score in four different Olympics. It was the 10th Olympic goal for Lloyd, breaking a record previously held by Abby Wambach.
Australian soccer legend Sam Kerr tied the match in the first half with a goal of her own in the 17th minute. Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik had the other two goals for Australia.
It’s the first time the U.S. team has picked up a bronze medal and the first time the team has medaled since the 2012 Olympics.