Megan Rapinoe scored a goal directly from a corner kick - a rare feat she's now pulled off twice at the Olympics

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Megan Rapinoe scored a goal directly from a corner kick - a rare feat she's now pulled off twice at the Olympics
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Megan Rapinoe celebrating her first goal against Australia at the Tokyo Olympics.
Megan Rapinoe celebrating her first goal against Australia at the Tokyo Olympics. Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports
  • Megan Rapinoe scored a stunning goal to open scoring as the USWNT won an Olympic bronze medal.

  • The star launched her corner kick directly into the back of the net for an "Olimpico."

  • Rapinoe has achieved the rare feat twice in Olympic competition.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Megan Rapinoe scored one of the most impressive goals of her career Thursday during the US women's national team's bronze-medal-winning match at the Tokyo Olympics.

The striker launched a corner kick directly into the back of the net to open scoring for the US against Australia. The rare feat - also called an "Olimpico" in honor of a 1924 goal from the Argentine standout Cesáreo Onzari - typically comes once in a lifetime, if at all, for professional soccer players.

Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe. AP Photo/Fernando Vergara

But for Rapinoe, lightning has struck twice. And both times, it's happened at the Olympic Games.

The latest came early Thursday evening in Tokyo, while most Americans were asleep.

In just the eighth minute of the game against the Matildas - their second head-to-head match of the Olympic tournament in Tokyo - the 36-year-old curled the ball past goalkeeper Teagan Micah in a stunning scene.

Almost a full decade earlier, Rapinoe pulled off the same feat at the 2012 London Olympics. During the US's legendary semifinal match against Canada, the then-27-year-old - who sported bleached-blond locks before trying her signature pink hair color - sneaked a corner kick into the box and just behind the near post, equalizing the score.

That time, Rapinoe and the US survived and advanced all the way to the top of the podium.

But nine years later, Vlatko Andonovski's team fell short of its gold-medal expectations thanks to a heartbreaking semifinal loss to Christine Sinclair and her Canadian side. It was the first time the Americans faltered against their neighbors to the north in 20 years.

Despite the letdown, Rapinoe and her teammates were focused and firing on all cylinders in pursuit of bronze in Tokyo.

A first-half brace from Rapinoe helped the effort - and a stoppage-time cherry on top from Carli Lloyd forced Australia into a 3-1 deficit heading to the locker room.

The game ended 4-3 to the US after an early second-half goal from Lloyd put the Americans ahead 4-1 before goals from Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik tightened the scoreline.

The Matildas ultimately failed to level the score, with Rapinoe and her teammates taking home bronze.

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