The USA is through to the semifinals in women's soccer at the Tokyo Olympics after beating the reigning European champion Netherlands, 4-2, in a shootout after their match ended, 2-2, in Yokohama.
The measure of the USA's greatness in women's soccer is how often their big matches have been tight and how they have usually prevailed.
Which is why the shootout loss to Sweden in the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals was so stunning.
And makes Friday night's shootout victory so sweet for Alex Morgan and Christen Press, who missed against Sweden in Brasilia and converted their chances on the USA's second and third attempts Friday night.
The USA has won four of the six previous gold medals in women's soccer, but six of the 10 semifinals and finals have gone to overtime. Friday's match makes eight of 15 knockout games that have gone to overtime.
The USA has only lost twice. To Norway on a golden goal in the 2000 gold-medal game in Sydney and to Sweden in a shootout five years ago.
The USA's win over the Netherlands ranks among its top three Olympic wins in terms of the drama. In all three of them, it had to come back from behind to win.
The USA played its best game to date at the Tokyo Olympics against the Netherlands, but the result could have gone either way.
Friday's victory had the added bonus of Alyssa Naeher's save on Lieke Martens' penalty kick in the 81st minute that rescued the USA after the Dutch stormed back from a 2-1 deficit and was knocking on the door in search of a winner.
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But as great as it was, the USA-Netherlands game still ranks behind two other games that spectators at least had the privilege to savor.
Everyone remembers the first gold medal captured in Athens, Georgia, where 76,489 fans watched the USA beat China, 2-1.
The USA would not have been there but for its comeback win over archrival Norway, the reigning world champion, in the semifinals, a 2-1 win on goals by the great Michelle Akers in the 75th minute and Tiffeny Milbrett in overtime.
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The most thrilling women's game ever played, a gem being formed before your eyes, was the USA's 4-3 overtime win over Canada on Morgan's goal in the 123rd minute in the 2012 Olympic semifinals at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.
Three times Canada went ahead thanks to the magnificent Christine Sinclair, and three times the USA responded with goals, the third following a decision by Norwegian referee Christina Pedersen to whistle goalie Erin McLeod for time-wasting and give the USA an indirect free kick a couple yards inside the penalty area.
Sinclair labeled the decision "shocking."
"We feel like we didn't lose," she said. "We feel like it was taken from us. It's a shame in a game like this that's so important the referee decided the result before it started."
Asked if she felt badly for the Canadians, U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said without hesitation: "No."
All that happened in August 2012 at Old Trafford and afterwards -- FIFA suspended Sinclair for four games for "unsporting behavior" directed at match officials -- will be relived all weekend.
The USA and Canada will meet in the Olympic semifinals in Kashima on Monday (4 a.m. ET, 1 a.m. PT).
USA-Canada Photo: Simon Bellis/Newspix/Icon Sportswire