2008 SUMMER OLYMPICS
Heather O'Reilly of the United States, left, celebrated with teammates Angela Hucles and Kahuku's Natasha Kai after scoring against Japan yesterday during a soccer semifinal match.
Going for gold
The U.S. sets up a championship rematch with Brazil by doubling up Japan
BEIJING » The U.S. women's soccer team is getting used to recoveries at the Beijing Games.
Down 1-0 and being outplayed by Japan in today's semifinal, the Americans found ways to score two quick goals just before halftime and rallied to a 4-2 victory yesterday that sent the defending champions to yet another Olympic final against Brazil.
Angela Hucles scored her first goal of the match in the 41st minute and Lori Chalupny added another just 3 minutes later to put the U.S. back in the game, and Hucles and Heather O'Reilly each scored in the second half to seal the American victory at Workers' Stadium.
"We found the strength to stay in the match and get the goals we needed," U.S. captain Christie Rampone said. "We knew we could come back, we have done it before."
The U.S. got off to a slow start at this year's Olympics, losing 2-0 to Norway before recovering to advance in first place in its group. It was in danger of being eliminated from the competition if it failed to win its last group match, but it was able to go through with a 4-0 win over New Zealand.
It will be the fourth straight Olympic final for the U.S., which beat Brazil 2-1 in extra time four years ago in Athens.
"The great thing with this team is that we use pressure as motivation," Chalupny said. "We look forward to those pressure situations."
The Americans have played in the Olympic gold medal match every time since women's soccer debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games, missing the title only in 2000 in Sydney after a loss to Norway.
The U.S. had to rally from an early deficit today after Japan's Shinobu Ohno opened the scoring in the 16th minute, but Hucles netted the equalizer from the 6-yard line in the 41st and Lori Chalupny put the Americans ahead just 3 minutes later after beating two defenders inside the area in the 44th.
Heather O'Reilly added to the lead with a long-range shot in the 70th, and Hucles closed the scoring for the U.S. in the 80th with a crossing shot that caught Japan goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto by surprise.
The gold-medal match will be at 3 a.m. Hawaii time Thursday.
Men’s team assured of playing for medal
The end of the U.S. medal drought in men's water polo is now tantalizingly close.
When the U.S. held off Germany 8-7 yesterday afternoon at Yingdong Natatorium - after Italy had upset Serbia earlier in the day - it not only assured the U.S. a place in the medal round, but vaulted them to the top of the Group B standings in pool play at the Olympic tournament.
That, in turn, earned them a bye into Friday's semifinals - against the winner of tomorrow's game between Spain and Serbia - which means they can do no worse than a place in the bronze-medal game.
Punahou's Brandon Brooks did not play.
U.S. win over China features rough play
The U.S. baseball team defeated China 9-1 in a game that featured three ejections.
Jake Arrieta struck out seven in six shutout innings yesterday and Taylor Teagarden and Nate Schierholtz each hit two-run doubles for the U.S.
China's top player, catcher Wang Wei, was knocked out of the game with a left knee injury following a collision at the plate with Matt LaPorta in the fifth.
After Schierholtz made a hard slide home against backup catcher Yang Yang on a sacrifice fly in the sixth - and Yang was held back from Schierholtz by teammates - China manager Jim Lefebvre was ejected for arguing about the rough play.
Chinese reliever Chen Kun and China pitching coach Steven Ontiveros were tossed when Chen plunked LaPorta in the head to start the seventh.
Greek hurdler formally expelled
The IOC formally expelled Greek hurdler Fani Halkia from the Beijing Olympics yesterday for doping and urged Greek authorities to investigate her coach for possible criminal violations.
Halkia, the 2004 Olympic women's 400-meter hurdles champion, tested positive for the steroid methyltrienolone at a Greek training camp in Japan on Aug. 10 before arriving in Beijing.
Notified of the result, she pulled out of the games Sunday and flew home to Greece.
Walsh, May-Treanor going for gold
Defending Olympic champions Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor of the United States will play for another gold medal after advancing to the beach volleyball championship game with a straight-sets victory over Brazil.
The Americans beat Renata and Talita 21-12, 21-14 for their 107th consecutive victory today, clinching at least a silver medal. The United States has now reached the podium in all four Olympic tournaments since beach volleyball was added to the games in 1996.
Walsh and May-Treanor will play the winner of the other semifinal between a pair of Chinese teams: Top-seeded Tian Jia and Wang Jie or Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.
U.S. men sweep Japan, face Serbia next
The U.S. men's volleyball team is riding five victories - and the confidence that brings - into the Olympic quarterfinals.
The United States remained unbeaten in Beijing by defeating Japan in three sets (25-18, 25-12, 25-21) to wrap up preliminary pool play. The men finished atop their pool and will face Serbia in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Former Kaiser and UH standout Clay Stanley spiked against Takahiro Yamamoto of Japan during their men's volleyball preliminary match.