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London 2012: USA, Japan Square Off Again

The United States and Japan will play Thursday in the gold match in women's soccer.

The U.S., which has won back-to-back Olympic gold medals, lost to Japan in the 2011 Women's World Cup.

The game is a hot ticket in soccer-loving England, where a record crowd is expected to turn up. From Reuters:

A crowd of at least 83,000 is guaranteed after fans snapped up 5,000 tickets following the defending champions' dramatic 4-3 extra-time win over Canada and world champions Japan's enthralling 2-1 win over France in the semi-finals on Monday.

The Olympic women's soccer attendance record was set in 1996 when 76,489 fans watched the final between the United States and China at the Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.

The game is set for 7:45 p.m. London time, which is 1:45 p.m. Central.

Canada took an early 1-0 lead over France in the bronze medal match.

For more Olympics coverage, you can stick with this SB Nation Minnesota stream, or check out SB Nation's Olympic hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.