A thunderbolt strike from midfielder Carli Lloyd gave USA a 1-0 win over Japan at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.

Following the 2-0 reversal to Norway in their opening encounter, the North Americans were desperate to get back to winning ways and created the first chance of the game in the ninth minute. Lindsay Tarpley outmuscled two Japan defenders to fire in a goalbound effort which left Miho Fukumoto scrambling to her left to save.

Five minutes later Shinobu Ohno teed up Yukari Kinga on the right side of the penalty area. The right-back fired in a shot which flashed across the face of the goal, much to the relief of the US defence.

The Nadeshiko almost took the lead midway through the first half when, after good approach play down the left hand side, Yuki Nagasato fed Homare Sawa, whose dipping 20-yarder forced Solo to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.

It was Pia Sundhage's side, however, who broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Tarpley's left footed cross evaded the Japanese back four, the ball broke kindly for Carli Lloyd and her powerful drive from the edge of the box ended up in the back of the net, somewhat against the run of play.

The US could, and should, have doubled their advantage in the 42nd minute when Amy Rodriguez found herself one-on-one with the keeper, but her tame effort was easily claimed by Fukumoto.

Despite the necessity for Japan to get into the game, it was USA who had the better chances in the second half.  Shannon Boxx and Heather Mitts both tried their luck from distance, but the keeper was equal to both. Rodriguez, who worked tirelessly in attack, had two more golden opportunities, but failed to convert either.

The 1-0 success puts USA in second place in Group G, albeit temporarily, while Japan must get a result in their final fixture against Norway in Shanghai to boost their chances of qualification.