New England Soccer Today

U.S. Gets Crucial Win Over France

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The United States women’s national soccer team managed an important 1-0 win against France on Saturday in their second match of Group G of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The first half was dominated by France, who squandered many opportunities to score. Taking Eugenie Le Sommer out of the starting lineup hurt France, as they lost their speed up top and gained a holding striker.

Julie Johnston was out for the US, as was Mallory Pugh. They were both held out for “precautionary” reasons.

In typical Carli Lloyd fashion she scored the crucial goal. She has now scored 27 goals in the last 28 matches. Tobin Heath blistered a shot to the near post and the keeper touched it off the woodwork, the ball skipped right to Lloyd’s feet and the USA were up 1-0 in the 63rd minute. This is when the game started to get interesting.

Every French corner was a challenge. Wendie Renard, the center back for France, was nearly half a head taller than anyone else on the pitch and was all over the field. She shut down Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Crystal Dunn and she nearly scored an equalizer late in the second half.

After coming in as a late sub, Ali Krieger almost had the ‘best’ own goal of the tournament. A cross came in from the right hand side and she attempted to clear it from the back post. Her clearance was a rocket that hit the side netting and had the fans cheering. Luckily for the US it as just another French corner.

This end result was huge for the US. The win puts them up to 6 points, 3 points ahead of France. The USA can top this group with a win or draw against Colombia. It was a difficult game to have in the group stages, as France is favored to make it out of the group so the US could face them again.

The US found some success in this match with a thru ball mentality that differed from their opening win over New Zealand. Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath both seemed more keen to play the ball on the ground this match. Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd had an easier time with those balls.

Hope Solo continued to defy the crowd’s booing and she played an excellent match. She had a few good saves including one from straight in front of her. However, her positioning and defensive set-up on set pieces left the back post open on corners. That stood out as a marking flaw. But it does allow her to be aggressive when coming out to collect or punch corners.

It was a good match for the USA, against a strong French side who is sure to remember this game if they play in the tournament again. The USA will play their final group stage game on Tuesday, August 9 against Colombia.

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