New England Soccer Today

Second Half Success Steers U.S. to Victory

Photo credit: Denise McCooey

Photo credit: Denise McCooey

After struggling offensively in the first half, the U.S. Women’s National Team came alive when Colombia went shorthanded following the break and secured a 2-0 win in Monday’s Round of 16 clash at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada.

Alex Morgan opened the scoring in the 53rd minute while Carli Lloyd struck from the spot in the 66th minute. Abby Wambach had a chance to grab the first goal of the game on a 49th minute penalty try, but missed the net entirely on her shot.

Colombia finished shorthanded after goalkeeper Catalina Perez fouled Morgan just inside the box on a breakaway in the 48th minute, a minute before Wambach fired wide on the subsequent penalty.

The win marked the U.S.’s third clean sheet of the tournament. Through its first four matches, they have only allowed a single goal.

Holiday and Rapinoe both banned for Quarterfinal: The U.S. will be without the services of midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe for the quarterfinal after they received their second cautions of the tournament in the 17th and 41st minutes, respectively.

Perez steps in for Sepulveda: Before she was sent off in the 47th minute, Catalina Perez made a pair of strong saves during the first half to keep the U.S. off the board going into halftime. Perez started in place of top-choice keeper Sandra Sepulveda, who was suspended for Monday’s match due to caution accumulation.

Solo sets U.S. goalkeeper mark: Hope Solo collected her 174th cap on Monday, setting the record for the most number of caps accumulated for a U.S. keeper. Longtime keeper Briana Scurry held the previous mark with 173 caps.

Game could’ve changed if…Perez hadn’t fouled Morgan on that 47th minute breakaway, and given a straight red for the transgression. While the U.S. certainly tested Colombia in the final third, the fact is Colombia was playing with flair and confidence during the first half. Had Monday’s match stayed 11v11, the second half could’ve unfolded much differently.

Next up: The U.S. will face China in Friday’s Quarterfinal clash at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm.

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