The first time the United States faced Colombia, the former dominated the latter in a thoroughly one-sided affair. It was more of the same time this time around.
The 3-0 victory in the 2011 World Cup group stage included a couple of sumptuous goals, and this unforgettable goal celebration from Megan Rapinoe.
The USWNT met Colombia in its second Olympic group stage match soon after the confidence-inspiring comeback performance against France. The U.S. captured a comprehensive 3-0 victory against their raw and sometimes ill-disciplined opponents.
– Prolific goal-poacher Christine Sinclair scored two goals in Canada’s match against South Africa earlier in the day, bringing her level with Abby Wambach on the all-time goals list. It wouldn’t last for long, as Wambach restored the difference between the two legends with the U.S.’s second strike of the match. It was a vintage Abby goal: all perseverance and brawn and effort.
– Wambach’s effort came as slight retribution. Colombia didn’t manage to get on the score sheet, but they might have become targets for revenge for another reason. In the first half, midfielder Lady Andrade full-out decked Wambach in the eye during the run of play. The incident went unseen by either the referee or the match officials. Its egregiousness might make it impossible for FIFA to ignore, though, especially if they execute the power of retroactive punishment.
– Giving certain players a needed reprieve or good old squad rotation? After offering up a few wild cards in Wednesday’s roster against France, Pia Sundhage went with a more conservative line-up. Heather O’Reilly returned to the fray and veteran Heather Mitts made what could be her last start in a major tournament. It was a successful test of the squad’s depth, as O’Reilly proved why she’s become a national team staple and Mitts helped contain a potentially vibrant Colombian attack.
– Carli Lloyd is putting together a fine, fine tournament so far. She’s been pushed further down the field, perhaps as a consequence of defensive midfielder Shannon Boxx’s absence. Either way, it’s allowed her more freedom to launch accurate deep passes to attackers. Lloyd helped herself to another lovely goal today. She also proved to be the U.S.’s most creative force in midfield, next to Megan Rapinoe.
– Speaking of Rapinoe, there was no Bruce Springsteen-inspired goal celebration today, but the 27-year-old midfielder had something else in mind. After her scoring her debut Olympic goal (and what a long-distance bomb it was), she showcased a personalized ‘Happy Birthday’ message to friend and injured teammate Ali Krieger.
North Korea lies ahead for the United States on Tuesday. The U.S. are technically already through to the Quarterfinals and merely need a draw to finish top of the group.
France put North Korea to the sword in their group stage match today with five goals arriving in the final 20 minutes. The USWNT is 90 minutes away from accomplishing the first task at hand.