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U.S. Women's National Team

Colombia scores late free kick to tie USWNT in Olympic group stage finale

Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in quite awhile, the U.S. Women’s National Team had their backs against the wall, and a late free kick from Colombia sealed a shock draw in Tuesday’s Olympic group stage finale.

An early howler from Hope Solo was overcome by goals from Crystal Dunn and Mallory Pugh, as two of the USWNT’s youngest stars led the way in a USWNT comeback. However, a second free kick goal from Catalina Usme saw Colombia level the scoreline in stoppage time as Tuesday’s clash ended as a 2-2 draw.

The tie seals the USWNT’s status as group winners heading into the knockout stages, while knocking Colombia out of the tournament with just one point.

With the USWNT cruising, Usme fired her second free kick of the night, although the second was significantly prettier than the first. On the right hand side of the box, Usme curled a shot past Solo, sealing a shock draw for the South American side.

So steady throughout the tournament, Solo finally looked a bit human via a mistake midway through the first half. On a Colombia free kick, Usme curled a 26th minute shot around an extended wall. Solo wasn’t caught off guard by the shot, but the USWNT goalkeeper let the ball slip through her legs, gifting Colombia a 1-0 lead and the team’s first ever Olympic goal.

From there, the USWNT endured a bit of a panicky spell as the team pushed back into the game. Finally, Dunn broke through in the 41st minute, tapping in a rebound from a Carli Lloyd effort that struck the crossbar.

Pugh fired the USWNT into the lead in the 59th minute. On a ball in from Crystal Dunn, Pugh showed the maturity to delay the shot, taking the ball past several defenders before firing into an open net to become the youngest American goalscorer in Olympic history.

Pugh’s introduction came at the expense of Megan Rapinoe, who earned the starting nod for her tournament debut. The veteran midfielder, who is returning from an ACL injury, struggled to get into arhythm before a scheduled substitution in the 33rd minute.

Following the draw, the USWNT returns to action on Friday for the start of the knockout stages/

18 comments
    • Chris

      Solo’s technique is amazingly poor. Her freakish athletic ability really helps bail her out a lot of times.

      Like

      • Andrew

        She is absurdly haphazard on crosses. Has always been a liability in the air, but few opponents (historically) try that vs larger Americans.

        Like

    • mouf

      Molly, the golden retriever who also plays goalkeeper in Air Bud: World Pup, would have made that save

      Like

  • Kc

    More important than the result is Pugh and Dunn scoring. Rather have the team have a game like this put them in check ahead of knockouts.

    Like

  • Bill Minarik

    The USWNT looked like a team which was licking their wounds after the France Match, and was
    playing it safe rather than risk injuries or yellow cards. There were 4 major defensive errors on Columbia’s first goal which included a bad pass in its own end, a giveaway, Rapinos VERY late
    tackle which might have got a Red Card in the EPL, but which only drew a foul, and Solo’s failure
    to secure the area in front of her body – which is a school-girl tutorial. On the 2nd goal, I believe
    it was Ali Kreiger who committed a useless foul and again set up Columbia for a dangerous Free Kick. Rapinoe had an excuse being out for so long, but what Kreiger did was unforgivable on
    a world stage. No wonder she hasn’t been playing a lot lately.

    And as for the USWNT’s Set Plays, they are useless the way they have been executed. Their string of misses must be astronomical. For that matter, I can’t remember the last goal they scored
    which was from outside the penalty area. Maybe Crystal Dunn’s shot to beat France in the She Believes Cup?? Anyway, with all the coaches they have available, they should get one who specializes in set plays. I’m getting tired of seeing shot after shot flying high over the crossbar. It looked like the strikers were regressing to AYSO level. Now all the opponents have to do is to bunker everyone up inside the penalty area and watch the U S put all their shots up into the stands

    And Ally Long continues to look worthless. Players half her size keep taking the ball away from her.

    Lets hope for a good draw in the first round of knockouts.

    Like

    • Ronniet

      I actually thought Ali Krieger played well, got the ball forward in attack and tracked back with speed to disrupt long balls over the top from Colombia, it was actually Kelly O’hara who fouled late to set up Usme’s second free kick goal. I’ve never seen O’hara play well and yesterday that trend continued for me. There is something off about this team right now, let’s hope they pull it together for the knockout rounds because with Brazil looming by way of the draw it could get ugly if they meet in the semis

      Like

  • Old School

    Was she drunk again? Those were some criminal errors that she abused her team with.

    Like

  • Bill Minarik

    My apologies to Ali Kreiger on the late foul call. Kelly O’Hara has been relatively steady and tends to do well during crunch time, like that 2nd goal against Germany in the WC. So I’m not sure what it was that made her commit that TOTALLY unnecessary foul which lead to the tying goal. Maybe she was feeling pain from the France match and used some medical marijuana to deal with it. Whatever it was, hopefully she has now come to her senses.

    The U.S. got a break, maybe, on the knockout round. What happened was that either China or Sweden was on the verge of being bumped out of one of the 3rd place qualifying spots by New Zealand depending or which one of them lost in their match against each other. The only sure way of both of them getting into the knockout round was for them to tie (4 points each), which would freeze New Zealand (3 points) out. So as many expected they played to a 0-0 draw. Why that is important was because if New Zealand got in as a 3rd place team, they would play Brazil in the first round of knockout, while the U. S. would have to play Australia. Now Brazil will have to play Australia, and if you remember who scored the only goal against Brazil in the WC and knocked them out – YEAH it was Australia. And if you follow stats, Australia dominated Canada in its 0-2 loss there. BTW, the 2 goals in that match were 1) a giveaway by Australia in the opening moments of that match, and a late goal by Canada when Australia had everyone up attempting to tie.

    However, before you think that the U. S. has a potential breather, considering this: The U.S. does not do well against BIG physical teams. The 2 Biggest Women’s Teams in the world are Sweden and Iceland. The last 3 matches the USWNT has played against both have ended up 1-2, 0-0, and 0-0. Also Sweden won their way into the Olympics via that 4-team Euro Playoff. They didn’t score the most goals, but gave up the fewest. If the U.S. is to beat them, they will have to do it the same way that Brazil did and that is score early and often, and put the game away before half time. If Sweden goes into the 2nd half even or better, it could end up being a long day for our girls with PKs not out of the question. See schedule below. France, Canada, and Germany are all in the same bracket, so we will only see one of them at Tournament’s end if we make it that far.

    12.08. 09:00
    USA W
    Sweden W

    12.08. 12:00
    China W
    Germany W

    12.08. 15:00
    Canada W
    France W

    12.08. 18:00
    Brazil W
    Australia W

    Like

    • Ronniet

      good observation and analysis Bill, pretty spot on and thanks for providing the upcoming schedule!

      Like

  • matt

    Nobody commenting on the fact that this was played like a throwaway game? 8 subs started this match, and then a starter replaced a starter. The coach played it for experience and rest, not the win.

    Also anyone saying solo has poor technique is a moron

    Like

    • Ronniet

      More like 5 subs Matt(and 2 of those 5 have been starters their whole careers) – Whitney Engen, Lindsey Horan, Christian Press, Megan Rapinoe and i guess you can count Ali Krieger(although Kriegs started every game of the WC and Engen has started 2 games in a row in Rio). Regardless of who started or who is starting, this team is not playing well and has only scored a total of what 5 goals?? They are not creating a lot of chances, and the ones that they are have come from our 2 youngest players ironically, but the finishing hasn’t been pretty at all and they need to step it up to another level if they are to defend their title.

      Like

      • matt

        yea wrong.

        Press – Sub
        Horan – Sub
        Long – Sub
        Kreiger – Sub
        Engen – Sub
        O’Hara – Sub
        Rapinoe – Sub

        Whether or not theyve started in the past does not mean they are the current player holding the starting spot. Many of the above have NEVER been regular starters

        Like

    • Bill Minarik

      Ditto to Ron, Matt. All the women on the US Team have been playing too long to make as many mistakes as they made. Too many passes went out-of-bounds, and too many 50-50 balls went the wrong way. The U.S. wasn’t into it mentally and it showed. The fact that Columbia upset France in the WC should have made them want to make sure it didn’t happen to them. I guess what makes me so upset about the score was that we worked hard for both of our goals and their 2 came on what was equivalent to giveaways.

      BTW, my comments on Hope Solo were with respect to that one shot. She simply wasn’t positioned correctly for what she saw coming at her. She isn’t the first one to make a mistake like that in a high profile match. If memory serves me correctly, when the U. S. tied England 1-1
      in the 2012 WC, their goal came on a weak grounder by Clint Dempsey?? which caromed off
      of the goalies hands and went just over the line. So everyone can let their guard down on
      occasion, but Hope has used her High Profile Mistake up, so now she needs to be totally focused during Tournament matches. The entire team may need to take a quick course in back-to-the-basics 101.

      Anyway, with all what was said, the USA was not hurt in the group standings or bracketing,
      so we can just chalk that up to a learning experience and get serious for our next opponent.
      Considering they are being coached by our old coach, they will DEFINITELY be out to prove something!!!

      Like

    • Bill Minarik

      Yeah & I suspect that the USWNT mens coaches have also seen them based on the amount of playing time she has received. Her pictures are hot, but are kids stuff next to the selfies that Hope Solo has put up on the net.

      Like

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