U.S. women hold off North Korea, sweep Olympic group games for first time

U.S. women hold off North Korea, sweep Olympic group games for first time

U.S. Women's National Team

U.S. women hold off North Korea, sweep Olympic group games for first time

Wambach (Reuters Pictures)

North Korea did not make it easy on the U.S. women's national team, but the Americans are through to the knockout round of the Olympic tournament with nine points in hand for the first time ever.

Abby Wambach's 141st-career international goal was all the United States needed to handle a determined North Korea side 1-0 at Old Trafford and finish off the group stage with a 3-0-0 record. Wambach was the recipient of a slip pass from Alex Morgan, who had gotten behind the defense to track down a ball over the top and held it up before spotting Wamabch streaking down the center of the area unmarked in the 25th minute.

Morgan and Wambach each had chances hit the post, and Heather O'Reilly and substitute Tobin Heath also came within inches of scoring, but the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Hope Solo made Wambach's goal hold up, extending their shutout streak to 256 minutes after giving up two goals to France in the opening 14 minutes of the tournament.

The U.S. women will face either Canada or New Zealand in Friday's quarterfinal match depending on the outcome of New Zealand's battle with Cameroon Tuesday afternoon.

What did you think of the match? Do you think Pia Sundhage should have rested more starters with the quarterfinals in mind? Do you think the U.S. women will have a problem with either potential opponent in the quarterfinals?

Share your thoughts below.

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