U.S. women overcome shaky start to open Olympics with win over France

USWNT (Reuters Pictures)

The U.S. women's national team's Olympic campaign could not have started any worse, but after 14 nightmare minutes, the two-time reigning gold medalists restored order and opened group play with three points.

Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach scored to eliminate an early 2-0 deficit, and early substitute Carli Lloyd scored the game-winner on a long-range rocket to help the U.S. women topple France 4-2 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Morgan scored two goals in the match, icing the result with a tap-in in the 68th minute off a cross from the left from Tobin Heath that found its way through the area to an unmarked Morgan at the far post.

France stunned the United States out of the gates, with Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie scoring two minutes apart to put the Americans in a hole 14 minutes in. Wambach started the comeback in the 19th minute, heading home Megan Rapinoe's corner kick. Morgan completed the climb back running onto a long ball from Hope Solo and flicking in the equalizer.

Lloyd, who replaced Shannon Boxx (hamstring injury) in central midfield after France's two goals, notched the game winner on a right-footed strike from long range, taking a feed from Rapinoe and lacing a shot inside the left post in the 56th minute.

The U.S. women return to action Saturday, when they face Colombia in the second game of the group stage. 

What did you think of the U.S. women's victory? Worried about the slow start? Confident in the USWNT's chances at winning gold?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Roehl

    Those of us who are more MNT fans panicked because, deep down, we know our boys couldn’t recover from a two-goal deficit to win it.


  • Shane

    WTH. I thought the olympics didnt start until the 27th. Ives where was the warning?


  • John F

    The Olympic soccer tournaments always start early, because of the number of games and needed rest time. The men’s tourney starts tomorrow.


  • BSU SC

    If Shannon Boxx is out, does an alternate still have the chance to be put on the roster? I think Lori Lindsey should be rated above Boxx anyway.


  • johnnycougar

    That shot by Lloyd was beautiful! Worthy game winner in any competition!


  • biff

    I see the ladies did not wear the goofy-looking thick-striped jerseys. It would be interesting to know whether that had been the plan all along or whether the folks at US Soccer finally admitted the jerseys do not look good and issued a mea culpa. It would have been totally embarrassing to see the US Foxy Babes playing on the world stage in striped jerseys that probably 99.9% of 10-year-old boys and girls would refuse to wear.


  • Jake

    It was mentioned plenty of places that the Olympic soccer would start before the rest of the Olympics.


  • Andy in Atlanta

    I may be in the minority but I love the new home kit… Where’s Waldo aside.. it looks sharp… and for the record I actually hate Sunderland and Stoke City… just think ours looks nice..


  • sagcat

    I thought that Pia would make the adjustments to stop the unusually fabulous chances France was getting in the first half – and they did. The defense really stepped it up and solved their problems What a great coach we have, and what a spectacular collection of talent for her to lead.

    Woman of the match for me was Megan Rapinoe. She was just making plays all day. Alex Morgan has also become one of the most dangerous strikers in the world.


  • JoeW

    Kudos to the women. Coming from 2 down, especially against possibly the best technical possession side in the women’s game (France) is a huge statement. And, it increases the likelihood that they don’t have to face Japan early.


  • beachbum

    nice post, and I would include Carli’s entrance into the game also as a key, and Solo made a few nice plays as well late in the second half and more


  • SilverRey

    I just watched the highlights at nbcolympics.com, but you have to sign up for it and have a cable package that includes NBC Sports (or have a friend that does).

    Maybe ussoccer.com later on? Couldn’t get it directly off of YouTube due to copyright.


  • JRP

    It happens every four years. If you are new to the world then mark your calendar for four years from now in Brazil. Soccer starts a few days early as the tournament can only last a couple of weeks. This is your warning for 2016.


  • Yawnster

    Sundhage didn’t make any adjustments. The women simply played poorly in the beginning and pulled their act together as the match went on. Except for Lloyd coming in for Boxx, which had to be done, Sundhage’s substitutions were bizarre. She took out Morgan, who scored two goals and was running the French ragged, for Rodriguez, who disappeared from the game. She should have substituted a pocket of air for Morgan, instead. Then she took out Rapinoe, the most creative midfielder, for Leroux, a striker. Who substitutes a striker for a midfielder when you have a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes to go? In fact, it was clear Sundhage’s had NO plan to close out the game, as shown by the two scary counterattaks France had near the end.


  • Yawnster

    I love our team but think Sundhage is a terrible coach. I was excited to see the younger, more technical midfield in action, though. I’m also a big fan of Morgan and Leeroux. However, having so many possession-oriented players badly exposed Wambach’s deficiencies. Wambach killed several plays with her inability to pass and anticipate passes. She’s basically a one-trick pony, although I admit she’s dangerous doing that one trick – crowding the box with her size and making headers. Boxx getting injured was also good luck. Sundhage will let her start in midfield forever even though she has a shocking ability to kill momentum with her inability to pass or possess the ball. I’m no fan of Llyod’s but at least she can sometimes pass and she is always a threat from long range if defenders fail to close down on her, which is what basically happened.


  • mwc

    You can see highlights at Yanks Abroad Video Highlights. Go to the side of this page and under the “SBI Soccer Blog Roll” heading click the link for “Yanks Abroad Soccer Highlights.”


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer