Abby Wambach scored two goals as the United States defeated Norway 4-1 in the bronze-medal match at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Shanghai on Sunday.
Lori Chalupny and Heather O'Reilly also scored for the Americans, who erased an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Brazil in Thursday's semifinal with their best performance of the tournament.
Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, with her sixth goal of the tournament, scoredfor the Norwegians.
The Americans' inspired performance was a positive end to the tournament, whichwasotherwise full of on- and off-field strife for the former two-time world champions.
Still stinging from their semifinal exit as well as their former starting goalkeeper Hope Solo'scontroversial comments that followed, the U.S. pulled together when it counted most.
Wambach opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a nifty deflection offChalupny's blast from just outside the penalty area.
Wambach struck again just one minute into the second half.Cat Whitehill got on the back of a Stephanie Lopez corner kick, but her one-time volleybounced offthe near post and right to Wambach.The powerful striker easily tapped in her sixth goal of the tournamentto give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.
Chalupny and O'Reilly scored back-to-back goals in the 58th and 59th minutesto put a stranglehold on the game.
Gulbrandsen scored a consolation marker in the 63rd minute with a beautiful header that arched overAmerican keeper Briana Scurry and into the top left corner.
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan substituted his captain Kristine Lilly, the only player to play in five World Cups, in the final minute of the match.The 36-year-old left to a raucous ovation from the 32,000 fans in Shanghai, a testament to her impact on the women's game.
One person who wasn't with the U.S. team on Sunday was Solo, who was barred from the game for publicly criticizing Ryan's decision to start Scurry over her in Thursday's semifinal.
Solo, 26, conceded just two goals and recorded three clean sheets in four games for the U.S., but Ryan decided to play Scurry, 36, who sported a 12-0 record against Brazil going into that semifinal.
The situation boiled over when an angry Solo told CBC's Erin Paul in a post-game interview that Ryan's decision was wrong.
"I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that,"she said."There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves."
Ryan made the decision to bar Solo from attending the Norway game after meeting with several of the team's veteran players.
"We have moved forward with 20 players who have stood by each other, who have battled for each other,"he told reporters Saturday.
The United States has finished no lower than third at every World Cup, since the inaugural tournament in 1991.
In the championship game,Germany became the first back-to-backchampions in FIFA Women's World Cup history with a 2-0 victory over Brazil.
Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr scored for Germany, while goalkeeper Nadine Angerer posted her sixth clean sheet of the tournament.