USA Defeats Colombia 2-0, Advances to World Cup Quarterfinals

IMAGE, USSOCCER.COM

By MC Bousquette
USWNT Beat Writer

The US and Colombia faced off in an eventful and very physical match, with the US pulling ahead 2-0 to advance in the Women’s World Cup.

While Abby Wambach missed a first-half penalty kick, it was Alex Morgan who put the US on the board in the 53rd minute.  Minutes later, Megan Rapinoe drew a foul in the box and Carli Lloyd took the penalty kick in the 66th minute, lifting the US to 2-0 lead over Colombia — and eventual victory.

USWNT lineup Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the victory, the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals to take on China.

The match began with Colombia’s unsurprising physical play, with Rapinoe falling victim to a foul just four minutes in. Moments later, Tobin Heath managed shot on goal, but the chance was saved by Colombia Goalkeeper, Catalina Perez. Wambach rescued the ball, finishing into the back of the net, but was called offsides.

The US side pressured Colombia in the early going as Wambach sent a killer strike toward goal from the top of the box in the 14th, only to have Perez slap the ball away. Meghan Klingenberg took the ball deep into Colombia’s final third, sending a cross in to Wambach, who mistimed her jump as the chance was wasted.  Julie Johnston volleyed a shot toward goal, but Perez deflected yet another shot. On the ensuing corner, Rapinoe served the ball directly in front of goal, but Wambach missed another opportunity for a header goal.

The US threatened again in the 28th as Lauren Holiday sent the ball high in front of goal, finding Morgan’s head, but Perez pulled off yet another dynamic save.

The first half ended scoreless with numerous clutch saves from Perez saving the Colombia from the US offense. For all their dominance, however, Rapinoe received her second yellow of the tournament in the opening stanza, forcing her out of the US’ quarterfinals match.

The U.S. attack continued in the second, forcing Colombia into a precarious position. Perez slid into an attacking Morgan and garnered a red card. Colombia was forced to move onto their third string goalkeeper, Stefany Castaño. That didn’t help Wambach on the ensuing penalty, missing high and left of goal.

The returning Alex Morgan made good on Wambach’s miss minutes later. Rapinoe handed the ball off to Morgan who swung into the left side of the Colombian box. Morgan set herself up out wide and sunk the shot, beating Castano to lift the US 1-0 in the 53rd minute.

Colombia tiredly rushed the US box in response, but was shut down easily by the American defense. Rapinoe, however, would not be denied, moving deftly through the box toward goal in the 66th minute. She was taken down by Angela Clavijo and a penalty was awarded. Carli Lloyd took the shot, completing the opportunity to lift the US 2-0 over Colombia.

With a convincing victory, the United States move on to the quarterfinals to take on China this Friday, June 26th in Ottawa at 7:30pm EST.