July 28, the USA clinched an Olympic women’s soccer quarterfinal berth when they defeated Colombia 3-0 in Group G at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
It was not a painless victory, as leading U.S. goal scorer Abby Wambach was sucker punched and walked away with a blackened right eye courtesy of Colombian Lady Andrade. But Wambach’s revenge was breaking the U.S. women’s soccer record for Olympic goals with her sixth Olympic goal, moving her beyond Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett. That strike brought Wambach to 140 career goals, creeping up on the world record of 158 goals set by Mia Hamm.
“I’m running toward the goal to get position, and I got sucker-punched,” said Wambach. “This is Olympics and I can’t risk getting a red card, I can’t risk getting a yellow card. We like to call it ‘ice’ – stay ice cold. They’re trying to get me to retaliate and I’m proud of myself for not doing that.”
USA set to win Group G
With their second straight victory, the U.S. Women’s National Team sit atop Group G with six points. To clinch first place in their group, the U.S. need a win or a tie from their final group match against Korea DPR on July 31 at Old Trafford in Manchester. The game kicks off at 12:15 p.m. and is broadcast by NBC Sports Network.
A physical game
U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage shook up the right side of her lineup from the Olympic opener against France, starting Heather Mitts at right back in place of Amy LePeilbet and Heather O’Reilly at right midfield, shifting Megan Rapinoe to left midfield, where Tobin Heath started against France.
Assisted by Alex Morgan, U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe started the scoring in the 33rd minute for her first Olympic goal and the game-winner. Colombia responded to the goal with increased physicality and baiting, which led to the foul on Wambach in the 39th minute as she was making a run into the penalty area.
The USA killed off the game in the 74th and 77th minutes with the second and third goals from Wambach and Carli Lloyd. Wambach navigated a give-and-go pass from Tobin Heath and banged home her 140th career goal from 14 yards out. Lloyd scored her all-time Olympic fourth goal in the 77th minute after a sequence with Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, Cheney and Rapinoe, who sent a through ball that Lloyd neatly placed in the net past Colombian goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda.
Olympic women’s soccer standings
TEAM MP PTS
BRA 2 6
GBR 2 6
NZL 2 0
CMR 2 0
TEAM MP PTS
SWE 2 4
JPN 2 4
CAN 2 3
RSA 2 0
TEAM MP PTS
USA 2 6
FRA 2 3
PRK 2 3
COL 2 0
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Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: July 28, 2012
Competition: 2012 Olympic Games; Group G
Venue: Hampden Park; Glasgow, Scotland
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
COL 0 0 0
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Alex Morgan) 33rd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath) 74
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe) 77
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 16-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 67), 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 81); 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Abby Wambach (11-Sydney Leroux, 78)
Subs not used: 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 7-Shannon Boxx, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
COL: 18-Sandra Sepulveda; 3-Natalia Gaitan (capt.), 5-Nataly Arias, 13-Yulieht Dominguez, 14-Kelis Peduzine; 2-Tatiana Ariza (11-Liana Salazar, 71), 9-Carmen Rodallega (12-Ana Montoya, 71), 10-Catalina Usme, 7-Orianica Velasquez, 15-Ingrid Vidal (17-Melissa Ortiz, 87), 16-Lady Andrade
Subs not used: 1-Stefany Castaño, 4-Natalia Ariza, 6-Daniela Montoya, 8-Yoreli Rincon
Head coach: Ricardo Rozo
Statistical Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 15 / 8
Shots on Goal: 9 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 18 / 11
Offside: 4 / 2
Referee: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Yolando Parga Rodriguez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
Bud Light Woman of the Match: