US Women Olympic Soccer Team Qualifies for Quarterfinals with Win Over Colombia
The United States Women’s Olympic Soccer Team defeated Colombia 3-0 on Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland at Hampden Park. With the win the US now have all 6 points possible, lead Group G and have qualified for Quarterfinals.
It was a physically punishing game with no cards handed out by German referee Efthalia Mitsi, despite a Colombian plan to disrupt the US attack with physicality. Despite it all it was the US who attacked relentlessly but often lacked in the quality of final balls into the box.
The US had plenty of chances, 15 in fact for the entire match, but it wasn’t until the 33rd minute that the US would finally get on the board with a Megan Rapinoe strike. Alex Morgan played a ball to the left side and after getting the ball caught up under her feet, Rapinoe shuffled away from her defenders and struck a hard dipping shot the found its way over the Colombian keeper Sandra Sepulveda. The eventual game winner was Rapinoe’s first as an Olympian.
In the 39th minute controversy struck when a ball was played to the outside flank for Rapinoe. US forward Abby Wambach, who was left unmarked, made a run down the middle of the field. In hot pursuit was Lady Andrade who had already demonstrated to the US that she was there to mix things up for Colombia. When she neared Wambach, who was to her left, Andrade swung her right arm across her body and struck the the US forward in the face near her right eye. Wambach went down but the played continued as Mitsi, who was trailing the play by only a few yards, missed the incident which would have been a straight sending off.
But it was Wambach with the last laugh as she scored her 2nd goal of the tournament in the 74th minute with a through ball from Tobin Heath. Wambach used her physical size to out-muscle two Colombian defenders, play the ball forward, then lunge and strike the ball past Sepulveda.
Wambach celebrated her goal by running to the sidelines and holding open her swollen right eye.
The US finished the scoring for the day with another similar play that saw Carli Lloyd score on a through ball played through by Rapinoe, who finished the day with a goal and an assist. The goal came after a sequence of 7 consecutive passes with 5 different US players touching the ball before Llyod scored her 3rd of the tournament.
“The things that went well were the three goals,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Again, Abby (Wambach) and (Megan) Rapinoe showed the way. That’s one thing I’m really happy about, the three goals and we didn’t concede any…I’ll give Colombia credit for the way they played, they made it hard for us and we couldn’t find the rhythm in the first half. At the same time, we still have the ability to score goals and that’s huge. You gain confidence by knowing that. At the end of the day, whoever is playing against us, we are prepared and fit and we will play on and on, so that’s a message to the team even though the first half was a little bit off.”
The US now move on to play their final Group G match against Korea DPR on July 31 at Old Trafford in a Match Broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 12:15 p.m. ET.